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ODU and HU Students And Tidewater Custom Modular Homes Build "Green" Home

- Thursday, May 26, 2011

There's a quirky new building on the Old Dominion University campus, assembled like Lego blocks in about two hours Wednesday morning.

This house was delivered in four pieces in Norfolk, and crews fit them together to make a one-of-a-kind Solar Decathlon house.

The modules for this solar decathlon project were built in Pennsylvania and put into place on the campus of Old Dominion University Wednesday morning.  They will be joined together and then the interior work will get underway.

It was designed by engineering students from Hampton University and Old Dominion University who have been jointly working on this project as The Tidewater Team since they were invited to participate in April of 2010. Team Tidewater  is competing in an international green-technology contest called the Solar Decathlon, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The house has to be a zero net energy home, meaning the energy they use will be equal to the energy they generate.

"We have a water-sense toilet and low flow faucets in the shower and the lavatory," said Noel Nicole Harrison, Hampton University engineering student.

The home will have triple glaze, super-insulated windows and spray foam insulation.  It will cost $250,000 as affordability is one of the ten criteria these homes will be judged on in September in Washington D.C.

"We have to produce as much energy from the sun over the course of the contest as we consume," said John Whitelaw, ODU doctoral candidate.

The Tidewater Team reached the finals this year, the first time they entered, and will be going up against other futuristic models from universities in China, Belgium, Canada and New Zealand and from 15 other U.S. schools.
Truly a Project Green.

"So when they see a grand challenge for the whole world and their little piece in there while they're still being educated, it gets them excited.  When they're excited, they're engaged.  When they're engaged, they learn better, and that's what it's all about," said Oktay Baysal, Dean of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University.
 
It was a long-anticipated day for the engineering and architecture students, their professors and their professional helpers (such as Tidewater Custom Modular Homes), who until now had been working on the project for two years only on paper and computer screens.

More information and articles can be found on wavy.com