GLOBE-Net, September 13, 2011 - A student team
from the University of Calgary is Canada's sole entry in the U.S.
Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2011 taking place on the
National Mall in Washington D.C. September 23-October 2,
This year's competition features 20 international student-led
teams seeking to design, build, and operate the most attractive,
efficient and affordable solar-powered house.
More than 150,000 people are expected to visit the home during
the juried competition, which is held every two years to showcase
The University of Calgary entry, which is called Cenovus TRTL:
Technological Residence Traditional Living, was built in less than
More than 60 students and professors from multiple faculties,
community leaders and the Treaty 7 First Nations of Southern
Alberta worked together to design the safe, durable net-zero solar
powered home that addresses critical issues in Aboriginal
"The design is inspired by the teepee and respects the sun as
the traditional energy of life, says Johann Kyser, an environmental
design student and aboriginal relations manager on the project.
"The east-facing entrance lets the first light of day into the
house and the south-facing solar panels harness the maximum natural
energy from the sun."
The house incorporates green technology and traditional
principles of living. Sustainable building materials were selected
and special panels used in the walls are fire- and mould-resistant
in order to address chronic housing issues on First Nations
"These students are creating solutions to real-world challenges
in energy and housing," says Jessica Wilkinson of Cenovus. "Cenovus
is all about embracing technology and innovation to solve
problems-which the students have done-all while respecting the
importance of traditional design elements."
The project is a collaborative effort led by the Faculty of
Environmental Design, drawing support from students in the Schulich
School of Engineering and the Haskayne School of Business.