Aggie Solar Decathlon groHome re-built,
open for tours at Bush Presidential Library


Designed to be responsive to the present and future needs of the American family, the Aggie groHome, Texas A&M College of Architecture’s award-winning entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2007 Solar Decathlon, is now open for public tours on the grounds of the Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.

The student-designed residence powered exclusively by the sun can be toured Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4:30 p.m. The solar home will be open for tours through the fall.

The Aggie groHome was originally erected last October on the Washington Mall during the 2007 Solar Decathlon competition in which 20 teams of college students from across the United States and Europe competed to design, build and operate the most attractive and energy efficient solar powered house. Each project home was evaluated on its ability to generate electricity, charge an electric car, maintain thermal comfort, address a well-defined market, and other criteria, such as “curb appeal.”

This bi-annual competition was 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.

For the entire week, the nation had an opportunity to marvel at Aggie ingenuity as demonstrated in the Texas A&M team’s reconception of the home-building industry through an affordable, sustainable, energy efficient “Home for Life,” designed specifically to satisfy the dynamic needs of the modern household with minimal environmental impact. The home also utilized modern manufacturing protocols that promise to advance the housing industry.

At the 2007 Solar Decathlon, the Aggie groHome garnered first place honors from the American Institute of Architecture Students and the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment, winning the Student Choice Award. The groHome also took top honors in the Student Building Category in the Lifecycle Building Challenge sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency at the 2007 West Coast Green Conference in San Francisco.

The Texas A&M groHome system is designed to anticipate changing needs of the building owner and allow for upgrades, replacements, and enhancements. It allows homeowners to incrementally grow, take out smaller loans, and thus, all but eliminates the cost of debt. The groHome concept is currently being explored by Texas A&M’s Center for Housing and Urban Development and by the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems in Austin for possible 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 minimize 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.

Now temporarily reconstructed on the grounds of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, the 2007 Texas A&M Solar Decathlon groHome is open for guided tours, providing the campus community and Aggieland visitors with an opportunity to celebrate Aggie ingenuity and see the benefits of incorporating photovoltaic energy production into homes.

For more information about group groHome tours, contact Dawn Trog at 979-458-0539 or

For more information on the groHome and the 2007 Solar Decathlon competition, visit

Solar Decatholon video overview

Solar Decathlon QuickTime Video (10.2 MBs)

Solar Decathlon QuickTime Video (37 MBs)

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The Texas A&M College of Architecture’s groHome, a solar-powered residence, is now on display at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum parking lot.

The groHome, once part of a solar home neighborhood at the 2007 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., garnered several awards and honors.

Ryan Walsh is one of the students in Jill Mulholland’s studios reconstructing the groHome in the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum parking lot.

Deans from architecture colleges at Big XII member universities got an interior view of the Texas A&M College of Architecture's Solar Decathlon entry during their recent meeting in College Station.

Lori Aideyan, center, and Mattie Flores work on a groHome beam.

Project manager Chuck Tedrick has been busy getting the groHome rebuilt.

Architecture college deans from Big XII schools toured the Solar D "groHome" at its new site outside the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Please click on images for slideshow

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