WIT Press

The 2005 Solar D House


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Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Garrison


The Solar Decathlon provided an international forum for competition among eighteen university student teams, each of which designed, built, and operated a totally solar-powered home with a home office and their transportation needs using a solar-charged vehicle. Organized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Solar Decathlon competition challenges university teams to design and build an 800 ft2 (74.3 m2), totally solar-powered house. The competition took place on the National Mall in Washington D.C., where each house was constructed and operated from September 28 to October 19, 2005. The competition consisted of ten contests focusing on ingenuity, energy production, energy-efficiency, design, thermal comfort, refrigeration, lighting, communication and transportation. Professor Michael Garrison, Assistant Professor Samantha Randall and Lecturer Elizabeth Alford of the School of Architecture were the faculty advisors for the University of Texas at Austin (UT) Solar Decathlon student team, which included more than 40 graduate and undergraduate architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering students. The team developed a design that features four pre-fabricated modules that can be snapped together in order for the house to be transported from Austin, Texas to Washington D.C. and constructed in just four days, operated for two weeks, and then deconstructed and sent back to Austin, Texas again. An innovative foundation system of rails and rollers allow each module to be lowered off a truck and rolled onto the rails and the fours sections of the house snapped into place. 1 Design The University of Texas 2005 Solar Decathlon House is limited in size by rules of the competition, which, require that the roof \“foot-print” must be less than