Take 50 Stanford University engineering students, give them $250,000 and two years, and what do you get? An affordable, net-zero energy house for the 2013 Solar Decathlon, an international collegiate competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. (Story continues below.)
“This is to really demonstrate to the public that these technologies are commercially available, that they’re viable and that they can be implemented at a low cost,” said Derek Ouyang, the Stanford team’s project manager.
Before it settles permanently in the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve as a family home for the the resident ranger, the solar house will travel to Irvine, Calif. from Oct. 3-13 to face off against 19 other efforts from across the United States, Canada, Austria and the Czech Republic. Stanford’s entry has been carefully designed to break into four large pieces for transportation on flatbed trailers.
Students are now finishing construction on the house, which will be on display for the public Monday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the corner of Lomita and Panama Mall on Stanford campus.
“People have this bad connotation” with modular homes, Ouyang said. “We’re trying to develop a whole new framework” to make sustainable living cheap and replicable.