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Help Send the UB Architecture Solar Decathlon House to California

The University of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning (UB) has placed a team of its students in the final phase of the Solar Decathlon. UB is one of 20 Universities, selected from a world-wide field, to take part in the architectural competition to design and build a super energy-efficient house.

The Solar Decathlon:

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

UB has produced a design, labeled The GRoW House, which will compete against 19 others in Irvine, California in October of this year. The students  state that their modular contemporary style house with attached green house will produce twice as much energy as it uses. You can get detailed information on the house at this link.

What is the GRoW Home?

The GRoW Home is an ultra-efficient modular home that embraces both the urban farming culture of Buffalo as well its seasonal weather cycles. The house has 770 sq. ft. of fully enclosed living space that is heated and air-conditioned. Another 338 sq. ft. of living space is heated and cooled entirely by the sun and wind, requiring no energy consumption at all.

To complete the competition the students have been working to build the house in Buffalo.  They will then need to disassemble the house, package it up and truck it to California, where they will rebuild it at the competition site. 

As you can image this is a costly process.  The school and students have covered the cost of the initial design and fabrication, but now need help -YOUR HELP – to finance the move to California.  To finish the competition they need to raise $15,000 for each of 3 teams ($45,000 total).  These teams will build the house, give tours and explain the house features during the competition, and finally deconstruct the house for shipment back to Buffalo. Last I heard they had already raised the first$15,000!  Let’s help them get the rest.

They are asking for your generous support now. This is an exciting opportunity for Buffalo and the School, not to mention these obviously talented and very smart students. Let’s help them get to California and bring home the prize (and the house).   

The house will return to Buffalo after the competition to become an energy education center for the community. That means your gift will eventually add this wonderful building to Buffalo’s magnificent architectural treasure trove. Go to this link to donate now!

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

View All Articles by David Steele
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