A Solar Decathlon team from Iowa State University is in Washington, D.C. setting up a home they designed to compete against other schools. The students were required to design an energy-efficient house powered by solar energy. I.S.U. designer, Darci Lorensen, says they focused on “Baby Boomers” in their design. She says the boomers will make up 20% of the U.S. population in 20 years, so they’ve made their house A.D.A. accessible. Lorensen says they are learning a lot from this experience.
“It’s pretty cool to see your designs that you worked on actually take affect,” Lorensen says. She is a fifth-year architecture student and worked on many of the construction documents for the house. Jack Ladwig is an engineering student who also worked on the house.
He says a lot of the engineers found out there are a lot of environmental systems that can be worked into a house much easier than they thought. Ladwig says they are finding there are many things that can be used in existing homes too.
Ladwig says just the way your windows are placed in a home, and the efficiency of the windows can have a drastic effect on how the house retains heat. He says you don’t need an entire solar array to use solar energy and you can do many things by recycling water.
I.S.U. is one of 20 teams of college and university students in the competition.