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University of Maryland Solar House

University of Maryland Solar House

It was a big day for some students at the University of Maryland. Workers with big trucks came to campus today to move their enormous class project to the national mall. Howard Bernstein went to campus today and filed this report.

It's moving day in College Park, but it's not the usual.

A team of 50 University of Maryland engineering students has been working since January of last year on a Solar Powered House.

"The Department of Energy actually approached us and said would you be interested in this competition. We are trying to do this new student competition, you have to design and build a solar powered home and you get to compete against other schools and whichever home's the best, wins the competition", said team manager and Senior Engineering student, Alex Yabek.

The rules also stipulate that the home must look good and be comfortable for everyday living.

"We have a microwave, a dishwasher, a cook top, a washer and dryer. The house is heated and cooled depending on what the weather is going to do."

There’s even a nice TV… but no X-Box!

Everything about the house was scrutinized for it's efficiency and for it's environmental friendliness.

Yabek added, "If you work it out as how much carbon dioxide am I saving from the atmosphere? How much sulphur am I saving from the atmosphere? How many trees would it take to take all that carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere if I were just a normal house? I think that's probably the way that people should look at it."

Fourteen schools will be competing in the first National Collegiate Solar House competition. And what does the winner get? "Just bragging rights."

The 800 square foot house cost about $200,000 and another $20,000 to move it from College Park to the National Mall in front of the Air & Space Museum. That’s each way. But I imagine that a one-bedroom bungalow on this piece of property would cost a lot more than that.

September 20, 2002

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