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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • S&T's solar house ready for Dept. of Energy competition

  • When the Missouri University of Science and Technology Solar House is hauled later this month to Irvine, Calif., it will be the final leg of a year-long journey.
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  • When the Missouri University of Science and Technology Solar House is hauled later this month to Irvine, Calif., it will be the final leg of a year-long journey.
    Ground was broken over a year ago on this innovative house that will compete in the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition to be held from Oct. 3-13.
    This year will mark the fifth year that Missouri S&T will compete in the event which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
    The university will be one of 20 from around the world who will be participating.
    According to the university, S&T is the only school in the country that has been invited to participate in five of the six decathlons, which began in 2002.
    The team has had to raise its own money for construction, shipping and travel expenses. Around 20 students will travel with the house to the competition.
    The university's Solar Team is a student design team, with more than 60 undergraduate members who have dedicated long hours outside of class and study time to put the house together.
    The team is calling its entry, which has been taking shape on 10th Street near the university's golf course, the Chameleon House.
    It is named such because of its adaptability to a variety of environments and its ability to transform in order to suit the needs of the occupants.
    "The team is extraordinarily excited to see the Chameleon House transition from blueprints and specifications into an actual building," noted Emily Vandivert, who is a former solar house project manager.
    Heath Pickerill, head adviser for the solar house, said that one of the unique aspects of the Chameleon House is its use of a home automated system that monitors the interior and exterior conditions of the house.
    The competition is a decathlon which means it will be judged in 10 different categories - architecture, market appeal, engineering, communications, affordability, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment and energy balance.
    "I am proud of the effort that the team is putting forth," Pickerill added. "I know this team will make us very proud."

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