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Solar house departs for the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond


BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 11, 2007 – The award-winning Virginia Tech Solar House that students and faculty in the Colleges of Architecture and Urban Studies, and College of Engineering designed and built for the 2005 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has been moved from outside Cowgill Hall on the Virginia Tech campus to the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.

There, the house will be fully operational and on exhibition, demonstrating for museum visitors, including the members of the General Assembly later this month, how solar energy is a viable, livable solution for the future.

The Virginia Tech Solar House has won numerous awards, including: Best Architecture, Best Livability, Best Daylighting, Best Electric Lighting, and fourth overall at the Solar Decathlon; a 2006 Honor Award from the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); an AIA Presidential Award; and a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Honorable Mention for the Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy. The house has been featured nationally on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” on PBS’s “This Old House,” on HGTV’s “I Want That!,” in a DIY network documentary about the 2005 Solar Decathlon, in “Popular Mechanics” magazine; and in “Dwell” magazine, among others.

Traveling with the solar house to set it up this weekend are College of Architecture and Urban Studies faculty, including Robert Schubert, associate dean of research; Robert Dunay, T. A. Carter Professor of Architecture and chair of the Department of Industrial Design; and Joe Wheeler, assistant professor of architecture, as well as many of the students, some who have already graduated and some who are now in graduate school, who were involved with the house since planning began in 2003. The core student team responsible for the Virginia Tech solar house are:

  • Bryan Atwood, from Columbia, SC, architecture
  • Mike Christopher, from Gaithersburg, MD, mechanical engineering
  • Alec Colin Clardy, from Hampton, VA, building construction
  • Chip Clark, from Fredericksburg, VA, architecture
  • Norm Deal, from Blacksburg, VA, architecture
  • Daniel Gussman, from Toano, VA, architecture
  • Phil Hassell, from Roanoke, VA, electrical engineering
  • Nancy Hodges, from Charlotte, NC, landscape architecture
  • Nathan King, from Christiansburg, VA, industrial design
  • Brandon Lingenfelser, from Blacksburg, VA, architecture
  • Brad Lockwood, from Hershey, PA, architecture
  • Kyle Longbreak, from Roanoke, VA, mechanical engineering
  • Ben Mohr, from Colorado Springs, Co, civil engineering
  • Brett Moss, from Pittsburg, PA, architecture
  • David Rariden, from Ashburn, VA, architecture
  • Tom Shockey, from Lake Forest, IL, architecture
  • Alan Todd, from Mechanicsville, VA, architecture
  • Adam Tomey, from Cambridge, MD, electrical engineering
  • Matt Wagner, from Richmond, VA, architecture
  • Seanene White, from Mechanicsburg, PA, architecture

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is one of the largest of its type in the nation. The college is composed of three schools and the departments of landscape architecture, and art and art history. The School of Architecture + Design includes programs in architecture, industrial design and interior design. The School of Public and International Affairs includes programs in urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy, and government and international affairs. The Myers-Lawson School of Construction, a joint school of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Engineering, includes programs in building construction and construction management. The college enrolls more than 2,000 students offering 25 degrees taught by 160 faculty members.

The Science Museum of Virginia, at 2500 West Broad Street in Richmond, can be reached at (804) 864-1400 or (800) 659-1727. The Science Museum of Virginia offers visitors of all ages a place to experiment, learn, explore and delve into scientific concepts with hundreds of hands-on exhibits.