The Solar Homestead is Appalachian State University's entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. Inspired by the pioneer spirit of the early settlers in the mountain region of North Carolina, we have designed a self-sustaining zero energy home.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Visit From Congresswoman Foxx!

Representative Virginia Foxx Visits the Homestead!

Yesterday June 29, Congresswomen Virginia Foxx paid the The Solar Homestead headquarters a visit! It was her wish to come and see how far along our team is with construction and to show her support as well as interest in our participation in the Solar Decathlon 2011.

During her visit, our team was able to provide Representative Foxx with a full guided tour as well as some presentations that displayed the steps that Appalachian State University has been taking to become a more energy efficient campus. Rep. Foxx, along with Sen. Kay Hagan, was instrumental in helping to return the Decathlon back to the National Mall earlier this year, and we are extremely grateful for her support. 

The Solar Homestead team would like to thank Representative Virginia Foxx for taking the time to visit our headquarters and for supporting our project!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Decathlete of the Week!

Mike Germano

Job title: Construction and Project Management team member

Joined team: January of 2011

How did you get involved? "I heard about it my sophomore year.  Then my teacher was talking about it because she was excited for it because she was part of Purdue's team a few years ago. I couldn't join for a while because I could not get out of work but I knew I just had to make time so I joined the team in January."

Best part of working on the Homestead? "Conquering sleep...haha... The whole project is fun because everyone is fun to hang out with and we are doing something to better society."

What do you like to do outside of the team? "Sleep and relax outdoors"

Would you rather be a pirate or a ninja?  "Definitely a pirate because they get to pillage the seas, drink rum, and have a great time sailing all day."

Would you rather play European football or American football; "European Football.. I played both in high school but I miss soccer more."

Rumor has it you have some kind of Christmas traditions? " H aha. Yeah I grow out my beard and dye it white and dressed up like Santa to go to school. It is a lot of fun!"

Mike has dedicated all his extra time outside of class and work to the Solar Homestead. He has been fantastic about setting the standard for commitment to the project. Thank you for working your pants off!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Design team Up-date


The Solar Homestead team has been busy spreading their design expertise in all aspects of the project development.

The designers have constantly been updating as-built drawings as building of the Solar Homestead has progressed, while also working with the construction team to hash out construction details.

A few team member have been working closely with Philmark furniture company to make a couple of custom pieces that are designed to be reconfigurable. The reconfigurable nature of the furniture allows one piece to serve multiple purposes.

They have also been designing and ordering the kitchen, counter tops, and coordinating all of the finishing details to make this house a beautiful home.

And then, on top of it all, they have been instrumental in our nearly finalized exhibit materials and dinner menus.

The rest of the Solar Homestead team would like to thank for all of your hard work! You all have done such a great job.

-The rest of the Solar Homestead team :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Solar Homestead

Construction Update
The Solar Homestead crew has been very busy and hard at work since the end of spring semester, and with only three months to go until the competition; everyone is excited and continuing to do our best to get ready for the National Mall.

Joe Armstong and Dave Lee
We have seen some delays in our construction, but with many late nights, we have our house on an even better schedule! 

The construction team is now done drying-in the structure and we have only two more doors left to install!

We have been working simultaneously on plumbing, electrical and HVAC rough-ins. After inspections we will start weaving insulation between the staggered studs and working on finishing details.

Heather Kinsey - PV & Electrical Designer

The Solar Homestead's finished sections are being moved outside of the high bay and set up outside where we will level it out to set up the entire site.
John Arnaud and Trevor Hogan

Let us know what you think! Leave a comment and we can further our conversation. We would love to hear from you!

Also check back with us to hear about updates from the other Solar Homestead teams in our upcoming blogs!

-The Solar Homestead Team

Monday, June 20, 2011

Decathlete of the Week!

Heather Kinsey

Job title: PV + Electrical Designer 

Joined team: January 2010

 How did you get involved?: "I was in the senior architectural design studio and Dr. Russell and professor Everhart approached me and proposed I get involved with the Solar Homestead as the second semester portion of our studio."

Best part?: "The endless learning opportunities! I could not have imagined a project that embodies so many of the things that I have been exposed to in my college career that I now have the opportunity to practice. Practicing the design of a photovoltaic power system was definitely one of the best parts."

What do you like to do outside of the Team?: "I love to watch the rhododendron bloom." 

You would rather be a dog named killer or a cat named fluffy?: "I would rather be named a cat named fluffy because a positive attitude will get you a long way and you never know what to expect from a cat named fluffy, but honestly I would rather be a dog named fluffy."

Would you rather not be able to use your phone or your e-mail?: "These days phones are so fancy, email and phones are one in the same. Except my phone. So I'd give up email." 

What has been the most challenging part of this project?: "The most challenging part.... challenges don't seem so hard when you have such a great team on your side. This is not to say that there were no challenging parts but our team is so dynamic that there has always been a person of resource." 

The  Solar Homestead team would like to thank Heather for being such a dedicated member. She has been very reliable, being at the headquarters before the sun is up and also for taking the lead working with the university electricians.  Thanks again for all of your  hard work! Keep up the hard work and stealing hard hats ;)

-The Solar Homestead Team

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sponsor of the Month

              The Solar Homestead team would like to proudly recognize Deltec Homes as our sponsor of the month of June, 2011. Our student team and Deltec first met at the International Builders Show in Orlando Florida in January, 2011. With further conversation, Deltec CEO David Hall, and Director of Sustainability Technologies Steve Linton visited the Solar Homestead headquarters in Boone, NC and immediately became engaged in the project.

Deltec Homes is based in Asheville, North Carolina, and has been building homes for over 42 years. With their special, panelized construction technique, Deltech operates as one of the greenest home manufacturers in the world. Deltec's advanced construction process creates 87% less waste than the average home builder. Impressively, their production facility is completely powered by renewable energy, with 1/3 of that power coming from their roof: one of the largest solar arrays in North Carolina.

With their innovative construction process, transportation knowledge, and green initiatives, Deltec has brought many valuable additions to the Solar Homestead project and has helped keep our construction process on schedule. With their contribution of materials and labor, Deltec Homes has become a Kilowatt Level sponsor and is greatly appreciated by the entire team!

We would like to thank Deltec Homes for all of their support, and are very proud to have them as a part of the Solar Homestead 2011 project!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Decathlete of the Week!

Craig Autry

Classification: Building Science, Senior

Job Title: Construction Team Member, specialization in plumbing installation

Joined team: January 2011

How did you get involved? "Ed Pavia talked to me in one of our classes and he encouraged me to join the team in January."

Best Part? "The experience! I have learned a lot about carpentry from working with the rest of the awesome construction team and I feel like I contribute knowledge about plumbing. So it is a win win!"

What do you like to do outside the team? "I really do like to work, but I also like to fish and hang out with my family and friends."

Favorite movie?: Scarface

Do you have a team nickname? K.O.E. of "King of England" "The first time I met Travis I broke the ice and said "king of England, nice to meet you."

We would like to thank Craig for all of his hard work, his dedication to plumbing rough-ins in our Flex-OM and putting in the extra effort when the team needed you. Thank you for being such a wonderful volunteer!