University of Calgary

Students begin construction of solar home on west campus

UToday HomeApril 23, 2013

Artist’s rendering of the BOREALIS. Construction is taking place this summer near the Children’s Hospital on west campus.Artist’s rendering of the BOREALIS. Construction is taking place this summer near the Children’s Hospital on west campus.Team Alberta entered the construction phase of BOREALIS, a student-designed solar home, on Monday. Planned to coincide with Earth Day, the first stage of construction is site preparation on the University of Calgary west campus.

“The concept for BOREALIS is based on addressing the housing needs that are pressing in remote communities and industrial camps such as those in the Fort McMurray region,” says Neal Phillipsen, Architecture co-lead for the Solar Decathlon 2013 project.

“Team Alberta has designed a modular home that is easy to transport and assemble and is affordable for working families, as well as for remote working populations,” Phillipsen says.

Later this week, the steel frame will be erected, allowing constructing of the exterior of BOREALIS. Construction is planned to continue into the summer, with commissioning, testing and shipping of the solar home beginning in August.

In addition to house construction, Team Alberta also hosted the competition’s first-ever Solar Decathlon Twitter Chat. Various members from other Solar Decathlon teams from around the world joined in using the hashtag #SDTwitterChat to discuss clean energy, sustainable housing
technologies, and the significance of Earth Day.

About Team Alberta

Team Alberta is a multi-institutional partnership between the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University. Named after both the iconic northern lights, and the lush boreal forest, Borealis is Team Alberta’s third entry into the Solar Decathlon competition since the program inception in 2009. Borealis is a modular home that tackles the problem of sustainable living in remote populations.

About Solar Decathlon 2013

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate energy-efficient houses powered by the sun.

These teams spend almost two years creating houses to compete in 10 contests. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.


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