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Photo of Crowder's 2005 house near the Nordtank wind turbine on campus. Enlarge image

Together with a 65-kW wind turbine, Crowder College's Solar Decathlon 2005 and 2002 houses will provide power for the Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology Center.
(Courtesy of Crowder College)

Who: Crowder College
What: Arts and Crafts House
Crowder College
601 Laclede Ave.
Neosho, MO 64850
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Public tours: Not available

Solar Decathlon 2005

Crowder College: Basking in the Sun (and Wind)

Following the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2005, the solar-powered house designed by Crowder College returned to the school's Missouri campus. It was reconstructed alongside the 2002 MUIR House on the west side of campus by a fitness trail.

Both Solar Decathlon houses have been used for public tours as well as for coursework associated with the college's alternative energy department. Recently serving as construction offices for the new Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology Center, the two houses will ultimately help power to the 27,000-ft2 building alongside a refurbished Nordtank 65-kW wind turbine that the school purchased when a California wind farm upgraded its technology.

Crowder has more than two decades of experience with solar energy projects. In 1986, the school built the first solar-powered car that crossed the United States. As tribute to the college's work in the field, the Missouri legislature designated Crowder as the state's official renewable education center. Federal funding allowed the school to begin construction on the Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology Center in 2009.

The Arts and Crafts House that the Crowder team designed for the 2005 competition expanded on the school's 2002 concept by improving the passive solar design and allowing for greater electricity production. This successful strategy earned the team a perfect score in the 2005 Energy Balance Contest.