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Photo of the Tuskegee University house on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during Solar Decathlon 2002. Enlarge image

The Tuskegee Solar Decathlon team got its inspiration from traditional Southern architecture, which relies on passive cooling strategies such as the dogtrot, a central shaded breezeway that runs through the house.
(Credit: Paul Norton/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Who: Tuskegee University
What: Solar house
Tuskegee University
1200 W. Montgomery Road
Tuskegee, AL 36088
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Public tours: Not available

Solar Decathlon 2002

Tuskegee University: Going the Distance

Tuskegee University students successfully overcame funding and time limitations to make the trip to Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2002. Now, with time back on its side, the university needs a source of funding to make its solar-powered house operational again.

The team reconstructed its house on campus after the competition. Initially, plans called for it to serve as a test bed for further work on renewable energy. Dr. Ben Oni, faculty leader for the project, hopes this is still a possibility in the future.

"I think the project has left a mark on the university as something we feel proud about," says Dr. Oni. "We've got a potential icon on campus to the extent that we can bring it back up and utilize it."

Hopefully, the school can find sufficient funding to give new life to its Southern-inspired solar house.