Designing tomorrow’s net-zero home
Purdue University will be one of 20 teams competing in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which will be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in fall 2011. Forty teams submitted proposals. Several of the team members, including the project manager, are from the College of Technology.
For three weeks, teams of college and university students from across the United States and the world will compete to build and operate the most affordable, attractive, effective and energy-efficient solar-powered house. To prepare for the onsite portion of the competition, a group of Purdue students and faculty have been working since the summer of 2009 to make the project a reality.
Kevin Rodgers, a graduate student in mechanical engineering technology, is the Purdue team’s project manager. He coordinates the team’s efforts with the Department of Energy and competition leaders.
“I like that ours is more of a traditional design. It would fit right into any neighborhood,” Rodgers says. “For these types of buildings to be successful, they have to have broad appeal. You want a person who is touring the home to want to live in the house. The side effect is that they wouldn’t have to pay utility bills.”