A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices


Appalachian State University Competes in European Solar Decathlon

By Chelsey Fisher

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After winning “People’s Choice” in the 2011 U.S. Solar Decathlon, Appalachian State University has been chosen to take their ideas across the ocean.

ASU — one of three universities chosen from the United States — will pair with Université d’Angers in France to compete in the 2014 European Solar Decathlon, which will be held in Versailles, France.

The Solar Decathlon is a competition in which selected universities build a sustainable house, take the house down, transport the materials and rebuild the house on the competition grounds. The project is designed and constructed by students at each university and each team gives tours of their house. Winners will be announced for various categories, including architecture, engineering, sustainability and market viability.

This year’s international competition is centered around reinventing modern living in row house neighborhoods. ASU and Université d’Angers are calling their project Maison Reciprocity, a title inspired by the project proposal.

Appalachia and the Clean Energy Frontier

Solar Special

The house will include a central unit that will operate all internal services such as plumbing, electrical and mechanical services. The outside of the building will also produce energy, though as of press time the details have not been decided.

While the ultimate goal of the decathlon is to win the overall competition, ASU and Angers also want their design to be purchased by a contractor’s construction team and built for the public in France.

“The point of competition is to raise awareness of how to be energy efficient, but it is a double-edged sword,” says Mark Bridges, the communications manager for the project. “We have to make it [affordable] to anyone who wants to buy it.”

The project will be in the planning stages through September, with design and construction occurring through next May. The competition begins in France June 27, 2014.

For the latest on Maison Reciprocity, visit: reciprocity2014.com

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