Release Date: October 8, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. — It’s finally here. After two years of brainstorming, design and construction, University at Buffalo students and faculty are in Irvine, California, this week to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon contest, which challenges participants to build a solar-powered house from scratch.
UB is one of just 14 intercollegiate teams taking part in the international competition.
The event begins today, Oct. 8, with an opening ceremony featuring a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.
Each house will be judged in 10 contests — thus the “decathlon” — that assess different characteristics of the dwellings, ranging from their ability to produce electricity and hot water to their architecture, engineering and market appeal.
An overall winner will be announced on Saturday, Oct. 17.
UB students will give public tours of their home at various points throughout the Solar Decathlon, which drew 64,000 visitors in 2013.
Photos and video, including visuals of the UB team in California, will be made available by the Department of Energy throughout the contest at the Solar Decathlon online press room, which also includes a press kit with basic information on the event:
Visuals (including photos, animated walkthroughs of homes and b-roll of competition events): http://www.solardecathlon.gov/2015/news-press-visuals.html
Interviews with UB team members can be coordinated through David Hill in UB’s Division of University Communications at 716-645-4651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UB’s Solar Decathlon entry is the GRoW Home, an 1,100-square-foot solar home that features an on-site greenhouse for growing food year-round. The dwelling’s design speaks to Buffalo’s urban gardening trend. The home also addresses Western New York’s four-season climate, with occupants expected to use indoor and outdoor spaces differently during warmer and cooler months.
Led by the UB School of Architecture and Planning, the GRoW Home team includes the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; UB School of Management; UB College of Arts and Sciences; and Department of Landscape Architecture at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The highly collaborative effort has involved 14 departments, nearly 250 students and dozens of faculty members.
The Solar Decathlon is being supported by outright and in-kind gifts and services from more than 400 individuals, the U.S. Department of Energy and the following organizations: LPCiminelli, Larkin Development Group, National Grid, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Montante Solar, Admar, Air Gas, Alegria Fresh, ALP Steel Corporation Inc., Apricus, Architectural Resources, Armstrong Pumps, ASHRAE Niagara Frontier Chapter, ASAP Signs, B&L Wholesale Supply Inc., BOMA Buffalo, BQ Energy, Brian Milcamp, Buffalo Energy, Buffalo Hardwood, CannonDesign, Caplugs, Carlisle SynTec, CIR Electric, Construction Exchange, D.V. Brown & Associates Inc., Davis-Ulmer Sprinkler Co. Inc., Dival Safety, Dobkin Tile and Stone, Ecology and Environment Inc., Euro-Wall, Farneth Electrical, Fastenal, Foit-Albert Assoc PC, Fox Fence Inc., Frey Electric Construction Co. Inc., Gemplers, Gerster Solutions, Guard Contracting Corporation, H&V Sales Inc., Hamister Group Inc., Huber Construction, Intigral Inc., InCord, Iron Workers Union Local 6, Jameson Roofing Co. Inc., Kee Safety Inc., LaBella Associates PC, Leadership Buffalo, National Gypsum, Northeast Mechanical Inc., Parksite, Pella Corporation, Pittcon Industries, R-Control SIPs, Thermal Foams Inc., Richard Bergman, Rigidized Metals Corporation, S-5!, Schneider Electric, Skyworks, SolarCity, Stix Inc., TapeSolar, Three M Tool, U & S Service, University at Buffalo President’s Circle, Watts Architecture & Engineering, Weather Analytics, Whirlpool and Whole Foods.