UNC Charlotte is one of 20 academic teams chosen to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. Established in 2002, the Solar Decathlon has grown into one of the most highly-anticipated design competitions in the world, hosting more than 300,000 visitors in 2011.
In a series of 10 contests, the Solar Decathlon challenges academic teams from around the world to build completely solar-powered houses that feature energy-efficient construction and appliances and renewable energy systems. The competition will be held in Irvine, California, October 3-13. The UNC Charlotte team dismantled UrbanEden in early September and transported it to California, where it will be rebuilt in a 10-day period.
Envisioned as an urban infill project, UNC Charlotte’s UrbanEden incorporates truly revolutionary approaches to sustainable design and construction, including the choice of primary building material (geopolymer cement concrete), an innovative active/passive hybrid cooling system integrated into the walls and roof of the house, and responsive technology that allows the house and its inhabitants to adapt to changing environmental conditions. A series of connected indoor and outdoor rooms combine into a single environment that adapts to maximize comfort and minimize energy use.
The UNC Charlotte team is comprised of faculty and students from three different areas: the College of Arts + Architecture, the William States Lee College of Engineering, and the Belk College of Business. Work began on the design of UrbanEden in October 2011; construction began in March 2013. After the competition, the team’s goal is to bring the house back to Charlotte for use as a research lab.
Visit UrbanEden's website for more details about the house and the competition.
Watch the slideshow below for images from the competition.
Want to learn more about our house? Watch the videos in the playlist below.