Take a video tour of Appalachian State’s Solar Decathlon home

Take a video tour of Appalachian State’s Solar Decathlon home-attachment0

The ASU entry features a compact, 864-square-foot home; outbuildings like those found on old-time homesteads expand solar-collection possibilities and overall square footage. The highly respected biennial competition challenges collegiate teams from around the world to design and build innovative, solar-powered dwellings. Each team must create a cutting-edge home that’s cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive, and then install it in a special exhibit on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

A multidisciplinary collective of ASU students and faculty accepted the challenge. Recent ASU graduate (and Asheville High alumna) Janelle Wienke learned about the project when it was offered as a special course for credit; by that time, faculty advisers Jamie Russell, Chad Everhart and Jason Miller (all from the school’s Department of Technology and Environmental Design) had already begun enlisting student energy and talent for a competition entry.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002. The entries by this year’s finalists were displayed in a special “solar village” on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. until Oct. 2; Xpress visited the “solar village” and readers can view our report here. To learn more about the Solar Decathlon, visit www.solardecathlon.gov.

Appalachian State University won the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 People’s Choice Award for its Solar Homestead. This award gives the public the opportunity to vote for its favorite house. This year, 92,538 votes were cast. ASU’s entry is currently ranked 12th in the official scoring

 

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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism.

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