Solar House Open to the Public
Beginning on June 25, the groHome Solar House will be open for public viewing at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The Solar House will be open on Monday-Saturday from 10-4:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 12-4:00 p.m. The groHome was created by approximately 91 Texas A&M students under the supervision of 21 faculty and 41 support staff members for entry into the International Solar Decathlon competition in Washington D.C. organized by the U.S. Department of Energy. This bi-annual competition is structured to promote scholarship and innovation in areas of manufacturing, energy management, communication, and philosophy by not only proposing, but enacting change in the way we use energy.
The Texas A&M groHome focuses on sustainability, open source systems, disaster relief, and technological growth. The Solar Decathlon asks teams to design a house which uses solar energy to power it. The groHome building system is designed to anticipate changing needs of the building owner and allow for upgrades, replacements, and enhancements. The overall goal is to optimize not only the total cost of ownership but the total cost of lifestyle. Additionally, the groHome helps prevent and reduce the effects of disaster by introducing a new economic model into the home industry. It allows homeowners to incrementally grow, take out smaller loans, and thus, all but eliminates the cost of debt. The groHome is currently being explored by the Center for Housing and Urban Development and the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems for disaster deployment in Mississippi, Florida, and Qatar.
The basic structural frame of the groHome uses high performance, light weight, industrialized elements that can be carried to a site and set up with a small crew and minimal tools. Pedestal footings elevate the house above the ground to cause minimal damage to the earth. Solar generators such as photovoltaic arrays or hot-water arrays, are incorporated into groWalls and groRoofs to provide the energy needs appropriate to the lifestyle and solar resource availability. To view the groHome, please visit the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum grounds during regular visitor hours. The groHome will be on display through December 2008.