NAHB Student Chapter Places Third in Solar Decathlon

Filed in Design, Student Chapters, Technology by on October 23, 2017 0 Comments
solar house

The University of Denver’s Solar Decathlon entry was constructed by the school’s NAHB student chapter members.

The NAHB student chapter from the University of Denver went home with a third-place finish overall in the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, which took place Oct. 5-15 in Denver.

The chapter partnered with University of California, Berkeley for the competition, which challenges college teams to build energy-efficient, solar-powered houses.

They designed their house for the city of Richmond, Calif.’s urban infill lots. The structure includes large windows, roof space for outdoor living, and many energy-efficient features. It can be scalable and stackable to include up to three stories and five multifamily units. The house can also be easily constructed by the local workforce.

While overall the Denver/Berkeley team placed third out of 10 teams, they scored first in appliance use and second in home life and energy production.


Matt Belcher addresses solar decathlon participants.

NAHB member Matt Belcher, a green builder and executive vice president of Hibbs Homes/Hibbs General Contracting, attended the conference on behalf of the Federation. He said he was inspired by the students’ dedication and creativity.

“You really see what lengths schools go through to build these houses. Their enthusiasm is contagious,” he said. “And what they’re doing now is what the industry as a whole will be doing in years to come.”

Belcher said he walked away with some very practical tips, especially regarding building materials.

“One team is using a panelized concrete product that we had looked at before,” he said. “Seeing how they are incorporating it is really making me consider using this product,” Belcher said.



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