Texas A&M College of Architecture’s Award-Winning Solar Decathlon Building Finds a Permanent Home in Austin

The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems adds Texas A&M Solar Decathlon to its facility for additional research and demonstrations

AUSTIN, TX (November 18, 2013)The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (The Center) – a non-profit organization that specializes in developing innovative systems that build healthy sustainable communities – welcomes Texas A&M University’s award-winning U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007 entry to their East Austin campus this December.

“The Texas A&M Solar Decathlon will expand visibility, show the value of green building, and function as a learning laboratory for people to experience inspiration in pushing the boundaries of sustainable architecture,” said Gail Vittori, Co-Director of The Center.

The Texas A&M Solar D, under the leadership of Pliny Fisk III, Co-Director of The Center and former Signature Faculty in Architecture at Texas A&M, was designed to be responsive to present and future housing needs of American families. The home uses the latest technology and research to advance the practice of net-zero energy for a sustainable, modern household.

This “Home for Life” is a functioning prototype of life cycle design, featuring building-integrated photovoltaics, solar thermal water and space heating, a food-producing greenhouse module, and a bat-tower living machine; the building will eventually also include biological wastewater treatment. Design follows five key protocols associated with Shelter, Energy, Health, Visualization, and Marketing, to produce an integrated net-zero water and energy, customizable housing demonstration.

The Texas A&M Solar D received three first place awards: the U.S. Department of Energy’s Appliance Category, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) inaugural Award, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lifecycle Building Challenge (student category) national award, and garnered a top three National Association of Home Builder’s “Curb Appeal” award. The building was also featured on Sundance Channel’s “Big Ideas for a Small World.”

The Texas A&M Solar Decathlon will join the University of Texas at Austin Solar Decathlon building (built in 2002) and other experimental structures, such as the Advanced Green Builder Demonstration Home, as part of The Center’s demonstration campus.