BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 27, 2009 – The team of Virginia Tech faculty and students creating a solar-powered house for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has launched a website about their project.
The website design and overlays for the 3-D visualizations for Virginia Tech’s solar house, named LUMENHAUS, was generously donated by Modea Corporation in Blacksburg, a digital services agency. The website’s 3-D visualizations were produced by Spine-3D and the videos were produced by Summer Productions. Jane Machin, assistant professor of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business; Christine Burke of Manassas, Va., senior marketing management student; and Alden Haley of Glen Allen, Va., fifth-year architecture student, led the website project for the Virginia Tech team.
The Virginia Tech LUMENHAUS website includes announcements about exhibitions at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Va., and the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.; a documentary; a video build-up that shows how the house is constructed from the inside out; detailed information about the technologies featured in the house; and a video experience of living in the house.
Lead faculty on the Virginia Tech LUMENHAUS project are College of Architecture and Urban Studies faculty Joseph Wheeler, associate professor of architecture; Robert Dunay, the T. A. Carter Professor of Architecture; Andrew McCoy, assistant professor of building construction; and Robert Schubert, associate dean of research. Lead students on the project are Haley; Corey McCalla of Rockville, Va., fifth-year architecture student; Casey Reeve of Shelter Island Heights, N.Y., fourth-year industrial design student, in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and Danny Slover of Grand Junction, Colo., fourth-year electrical engineering student, and Ji-Sun Kim of Blacksburg, a doctoral computer science student, in the College of Engineering.
Virginia Tech will be the only university in the commonwealth represented in the U. S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. The teams, which have been selected from universities in the United States, Canada, and Germany, received $100,000 each from U.S. Department of Energy to uniquely design, build, and operate an energy efficient, fully solar-powered home for this unique competition. Each home will utilize energy efficient technology and demonstrate that homes powered entirely by the sun do not have to sacrifice all the modern comforts and aesthetics Americans are accustomed to.
The Solar Decathlon gets its name from the 10 specific areas of competition: architecture, engineering, market viability, communications, comfort, appliances, hot water, lighting, energy balance, and transportation. Each house must produce enough electricity and hot water to perform all the functions of a home, from powering lights and electronics to cooking and washing clothes and dishes. The team that finishes the week of competition with the most points wins.
In the 2005 competition, the Virginia Tech team won first place for best daylighting, electric lighting, architecture, and livability, and fourth overall.
Virginia Tech is one of only two U.S. universities invited to compete in the first Solar Decathlon Europe, which will take place in Madrid in June 2010. The Solar Decathlon Europe competition is modeled on the biennial U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.