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Picture of community members standing outside ALOeTERRA after its relocation to the grounds of the Troy Civic Center. Enlarge image

Located about 10 miles from the Lawrence Tech campus, ALOeTERRA maintained its educational value while having a public presence.
(Courtesy of Lawrence Technological University)

Who: Lawrence Technological University

Public tours: Not available.

Solar Decathlon 2007

Lawrence Technological University: Nourishing the Community

Originally designed for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007, ALOeTERRA was named for the healing effect it was meant to have on the earth. The decathletes hoped to leave a minimal impact on the environment by using locally sourced and sustainable materials.

For the house's mission to ultimately succeed, the Lawrence Tech team needed the right partner to serve as a steward for ALOeTERRA following the competition. The Troy, Michigan, Chamber of Commerce was interested in finding a way to showcase alternative energy in its community. Chamber executives worked with U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg to secure a federal grant for $150,000. This funding enabled the Troy Chamber to donate the house to the city for public use.

ALOeTERRA was reconstructed at the Troy Civic Center over summer 2008. On October 3, 2008, a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the house to the community as a living laboratory and meeting center. Then, undergraduate students volunteered to give guided tours of the house as part of their university leadership experience requirement. Although ALOeTERRA had a minimal impact on the environment, Lawrence Tech students had a significant impact on their community as the tours continued on for the next few years.

Eventually, the house was sold to the City of Detroit, said a staff member at Lawrence Tech, though it has since been dismantled.