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Photo of Missouri University of Science and Technology's 2005 house in the foreground with the 2007 house in the background. Enlarge image

Solar House (right) is now located next door to Missouri University of Science and Technology's Solar Decathlon 2005 entry, Prairie House (left), in the university's Solar Village.
(Courtesy of Bob Phelan, Missouri University of Science and Technology)

Who: University of Missouri-Rolla
What: Solar House
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, MO 65401
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Public tours: Call 573-341-6782 for tour information.

Solar Decathlon 2007

University of Missouri-Rolla: Returning to the Neighborhood

The University of Missouri-Rolla—now called the Missouri University of Science and Technology—already had two solar-powered houses established in its on-campus Solar Village when it competed in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007. As deconstruction began on the National Mall, the university hosted a Grand Opening for the 2002 and 2005 houses as well as a groundbreaking ceremony for the 2007 house.

Solar House's journey home proved challenging for the team when the trailer carrying the house had a bearing and an axle fuse together. With assistance from an Illinois State Police escort, the house made the 15-mile trip to the nearest highway exit on only three wheels. The team was then able to make repairs on the trailer using the tools employed to build the house.

Despite this setback, Solar House was reset on its permanent foundation in the Solar Village within just one week of the competition's end. The team spent several months relocating the power and plumbing systems to the newly constructed basement. By August 2008, the house was ready for its first student tenant, a third-year computer engineering student and Solar Decathlon 2007 team member.

The Solar Village at Missouri University of Science and Technology was the first location in the region to sell excess power back to the local utility company. Currently used for student housing and research, all four of the university's past Solar Decathlon entries now circle a sun dial in the center of the Solar Village.