A team is forming and plans are well under way for the Texas
A&M College of Architecture’s participation in the
U.S. Department of Energy’s 2007 Solar Decathlon.
The decathlon is a biannual competition in which teams of college
students from across the country compete to design, build and
operate the most attractive and energy efficient solar powered
house. A major objective of the decathlon is to educate students,
faculty, and the public on the benefits of incorporating photovoltaic
energy production into homes. The project homes are evaluated
on their ability to generate electricity, charge an electric
car, maintain thermal comfort, address a well-defined market,
and other criteria, such as “curb appeal.”
The event culminates with each of 20 teams erecting a house
on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The houses form a solar
village, which will open to the public, Sept. 21-30, 2007. The
last Solar Decathlon, in 2005, attracted more than 125,000 visitors.
For the entire week, the nation will have an opportunity to
admire Aggie ingenuity as demonstrated in the team's reconception
of the home-building industry through an affordable, sustainable,
energy efficient “Home for Life,” which is conducive
to personal and social well-being. In sight of the Capitol, the
Texas A&M team will erect and occupy the home showcasing
their expertise, commitment, integrity and pride.
You too can be a part of the 2007 Aggie Solar Decathlon Team.
Housing, energy, community, ecology: 21st century man faces
numerous challenges with respect to the built and natural environments.
Challenges which the Texas A&M College of Architecture’s
Solar Decathlon team will address by reconceiving the “house” as
a lifelong home — energy efficient, affordable, expandable,
and in harmony with the environment — a “Home for
To achieve this vision, the Solar Decathlon team will be divided
into four expert units:
The Shelter Group will devise a modular, transportable home
that can easily grow and adapt to the changing needs of its residents;
The Energy Group will utilize cutting-edge technology to produce
a high efficiency home that provides, as well as consumes, energy;
The Logistics Group will examine issues related to supply-chain
management, economically viable communities, and production efficiency
to assure that the Home for Life satisfies market needs; and
The Biophilia Group will add delight, joy and serenity to the
Home for Life, incorporating color, sound, scent, and touch from
nature and growing things.
Our goal is not to design one building.
Our goal is to design a way of making buildings.
Our goal is to design the future.
Our Solar Decathlon “Home for Life” house will be
the first step in achieving this vision.
An extraordinary faculty stands ready to guide the 2007 Texas
A&M Solar Decathlon Team’s success. Among them are
internationally recognized authorities in sustainable design
and development, energy simulation and design, visualization
and modeling, healthy communities, disaster recovery, and environmental
The participating students, like most Aggies, are leaders of
character with the education, experience and desire to serve
the greater good.
The broader Aggie community is no stranger to empowering positive
change in the community and world at large. Loyal, helpful and
friendly, Aggies aim high and get results. With their help, anything
Texas A&M units collaborating on the 2007 Solar
• College of Architecture
Department of Architecture
Department of Construction Sciences
Department of Landscape Architecture
Department of Electrical Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Civil Engineering
Center for Health Systems and Design
Center for Housing and Urban Development
Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center
Energy Systems Laboratory
Environmental Psychophysiology Laboratory
Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems
Faculty advisors for the 2006 Solar Decathon are:
• Pliny Fisk, III, associate professor
Jeff S. Haberl, Ph.D., professor
Charles Culp, Ph.D., associate professor
Jorge Vanegas, Ph.D., professor
Mark J. Clayton, Ph.D., associate professor
How you can help
The Aggie Network — current and former students, as well
as friends of Texas A&M University — will contribute
expertise, materials and funds to build the 2007 Aggie Solar
Decathlon house — the “Home for Life.”
Materials are needed to build prototypes and the final competition
home in Washington D.C. The team needs high-quality, low-cost,
lightweight, environmentally green columns, beams, panels, finishes
Computers, related peripherals and wiring are needed to provide
for the home’s technologically sophisticated, media-rich,
Achieving high energy efficiency will require unusual technology
and rare expertise — sensor networks, photovoltaic systems,
efficient appliances, energy storage systems, dehumidification
devices and other tools and equipment.
The team’s vision is to devise a method for building many
homes to satisfy society’s unmet, increasing acute needs
for shelter. Quality homes that can be produced quickly and affordably
will benefit the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast, low-income neighborhoods,
the colonias near the Texas-Mexico border, and housing initiatives
from the inner city to the Third World. To help them make a difference,
the A&M team needs the know-how and resources of home building
experts and the materials and funds to realize their vision.
Health — physical, mental, economical and societal — is
imperative to success in the 21st century. Using evidence-based
design methodology, the team will carefully incorporate color,
finishes, sound, scent and nature to create a nurturing home.
Again, it will take the donation of expertise, materials and
money to realize the Home for Life vision.
And, because Texas is a long way from Washington. The team will
need transportation resources to move the Home for Life to Washington
and return it to College Station after the event. Transportation,
accommodation for the team, materials, expertise and money, in
large ways and small ways, Aggies and friends of A&M can
serve the greater good while contributing to the success of this
Become a Decathlete! Invest in the Texas A&M’s entry
in the 2007 Solar Decathlon and be a part of one of the most
exciting projects on campus. The Aggie team is seeking cash donations,
in kind materials and expertise.
To make a donation, please contact:
Senior Director of Development
Langford A 202A
College of Architecture, TAMU 3137
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77845-3137 USA
011 1 (979) 845-0939 (check international dialing numbers.)
Visit the Solar Decathlon Web site at: