Solar Living

So what’s it like to live in a Solar Village? I for one am having a fantastic experience. My name is Anna Osborne and I’m the Director of Public Relations for the Missouri S&T Solar House Team. Thanks to the Office of Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engagement (OSE3) I get to live in the 2005 solar house this semester. The other two houses are occupied by David George (Project Manager for the Solar House Team) and the Oerther family (Dr. Oerther- professor of Environmental Engineering at S&T). 

This summer I worked as a research intern at Purdue University in Indiana. So when my lease started my parents moved my stuff in for me (so nice of them, right?) and took the opportunity to use my house as a little vacation get away from St. Louis. As soon as I moved in, I took the opportunity to learn more about how the house works passively. You know what? It was designed very well! The size and shape allows it to be easily cooled by cross ventilation- especially at night when the temperature drops. I can cool the house down, then close the windows and blinds during the day and it keeps its temperature pretty well below 84 degrees. Some days it gets too hot and  I had to turn on the AC to keep things comfortable, but overall- I’ve only had it on for a handful of days over the past 4 weeks. 

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What else do you do in a Solar Village? Well, make homemade hand-churned ice cream! I got a churn for my birthday and tested it out on some experimental vegan ice cream. It was so so, definitely different from normal ice cream. Weather permitting, I also dry my clothes on the clothes lines David put up in the back of the 2002 house. 
Overall, I am really enjoying my time here at the Village. On a side note, since I graduate this December, OSE3 is looking for a tenant to take over my lease beginning in January 2012. If you are interested, or want to learn more, e-mail Julie Wilson (

University Name Change

For anyone out there who doesn’t know, the university is changing from UMR to the Missouri University of Science and Technology or Missouri S&T for short.

To distinguish UMR from the other University of Missouri campuses; to reflect the university’s national mission; to broaden market share for the best students nationally, and to enhance the university’s reputation.

Effective immediately please know that all of our websites and e-mail address have changed from to For the time being will work, but is soon to be disabled.
Main Website:

05 Solar House Sighting

I was in Chicago last weekend on a random bus and I happened to look up at the advertisements on the top walls. There was a poster for a Green Home Expo and it had a small partial picture of the 2005 UMR Solar House on it. Check out the picture below. It is the picture just to the left of the large pole. There isn’t much there, but it’s definately recognizable.

Of course I got really excited and started telling everyone that I actually built the house that was in the picture. How cool is that?!

Solar Decathlon Alumni Event

The following message came accross the Solar Decathlon listserve. If any of our alumni will be attending, please let us know by posting here.

Reunite with former teammates and competitors for a night of fun and networking. Open mic discussion about careers, thoughts on solar energy & sustainable design.
When: Friday, October 19th, 6:30 PM –
Celebrate the End of a Successful Decathlon
Where: Washington, DC
Details Forthcoming
Who: 2002, 2005, 2007 Decathletes
Students, Faculty, Staff, Sponsors, etc.
Solar Decathlon Alumni Association
David G. Schieren, NYIT/USMMA SD ‘05
Cristina Zancani, RISD SD ‘05
Catherine Stewart, UMD SD ‘03
Join Facebook Group: Solar Decathlon Alumni Association
If you are interested in helping establish and grow the SD Alumni Association please contact the group on Facebook.

2005 UMR Solar House Plan Set

We just recieved an inquiry about the 2005 Solar House plan set… We are offering them as a gift in return for a $500 donation to the UMR Solar House Team. The 96 page plan set is highly detailed, but still requires the approval of a professional engineer for every specific use. It is not to be used as a construction set. Here is an example of the detail that has been put into it:

If you would like to make a donation and recieve a free plan set, email or call our office at 573-341-6794.

2005 House Siding Completed

Today we finished the siding on the 2005 house. The outside is almost complete! All that is left is the solar panels and painting the siding.


The 2002 house only has interior painting left! The inside of the house was a dust storm with all the sanding going on today. Thats going to take a lot of clean up.

Roof Placed on the 2005 House

Today the team placed almost all the roof sections on the 2005 house. Thanks to Thermocore of Missouri, we almost have it looking like a house finally… well from the outside.

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2005 UMR Solar House Moves Into The Solar Village

The UMR Solar Village is under construction! The 2002 house has been placed on site and the 2005 will be moving on this weekend! Come out and watch us make these four pieces into one beautiful home!