WVU Solar Decathlon is an official student-led organization addressing modern family and economical needs in order to produce an attractive, commercially viable solar house.
In 2013, West Virginia University, for the first time ever, has the opportunity to compete in the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. The idea for WVU to enter the competition was started by the engineering students from the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Numerous subgroups along with the different colleges of the University will aid in the creation of the WVU Solar House. The colleges include the College of Business and Economics, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design, and College of Creative Arts.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition designed to challenge the minds of today's students to solve the renewable energy innovations of tomorrow. The award-winning program inspires the teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses. The goal of these houses is not only to be attractive and energy-efficient, but also cost-effective.
Much like the Olympic decathlon, the Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests:
After joining forces for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, West Virginia University and Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata have partnered once again to present STILE—a house that merges Italian and Appalachian design concepts with innovative energy techniques to demonstrate that residents need not sacrifice comfort for solar power.
STILE is a simple and compact house covered by an elegant, Roman-inspired arch. The arch creates a covered passage that guides visitors inside, shades the house, and supports the solar energy arrays. A patio occurs naturally as a result of the arch's shading effect.
STILE's floor plan maximizes public spaces and promotes an open flow with the outdoors. The northern section contains private spaces, including the bathroom, bedroom, and utility room. The rest of the house is designed as common space with entertaining in mind. This includes the kitchen and dining area as well as the large, open living room, which features a solar chimney that ventilates the house. In addition, many of the southern walls are large sliding-glass doors that can open to allow residents to enjoy nice weather inside and out.