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Photo of Georgia Institute of Technology's Solar Decathlon 2007 house in its permanent location at the Tellus Science Museum. Enlarge image

Icarus helps shed light on sustainable building technologies at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia.
(Courtesy of Joe Schulman, Tellus Science Museum)

Who: Georgia Institute of Technology
What: Icarus

Public tours: Not available.

Solar Decathlon 2007

Georgia Institute of Technology: Shedding Light on Solar Houses

After the 2007 Solar Decathlon competition, Georgia Institute of Technology’s Icarus house returned to the university’s Atlanta campus. In January 2008, it was reconstructed on the south lawn of the West Architecture building and opened for tours. That February, the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment toured Icarus on campus. The committee selected Icarus to serve as an exhibit at the annual Greenprints Conference the following month. Icarus received further recognition when the Discovery Channel filmed the house for its “Renovation Nation” green-building series in March.

In December 2008, the university transferred stewardship of the house to Green Habitats Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable building through research and education.

John Lie-Nielsen, founder and chairman of Green Habitats, decided that Icarus would be able to best enlighten the public if it were rebuilt at a museum. Therefore, the house moved from campus to the grounds of the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. A grand opening “Solarbration” officially welcomed the house to its new home in October 2009.

The house was open to the public as an exhibit three days a week for six years, educating hundreds of children about resource conservation and adults about commercially available products that can reduce monthly bills. The Icarus exhibit permanently closed in October 2015, making way for West Virginia University’s 2015 Solar Decathlon house to go on display and continue the mission.