Drury University Team Selected to Compete in 2015 Solar Decathlon

Students from across Drury University and Crowder College have been selected to compete in the 2015 Solar Decathlon against peers from 19 other colleges from around the nation, including Yale and Stanford and Missouri University of Science & Technology.

The race is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, which announced the 20 invited collegiate teams this afternoon. The competition will take place at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.

UPDATE: View the Crowder/Drury team’s website at shelter.drury.edu.

Drury is partnering with Crowder College in Neosho to form a team. The Department of Energy selects the teams based on an application process. The complete list of schools to compete can be found at www.solardecathlon.gov.

The teams now begin a two-year process to design and build solar-powered, highly efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation and design excellence. The teams will design, construct and test their houses before reassembling them in the fall of 2015 at the competition site in California.

True to Drury’s commitment to the liberal arts, students from all areas of study will be able to take part in the team. The formal application was made possible through a partnership between the Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture, the Breech School of Business Administration and the Department of Communication.

“This is an interdisciplinary project,” said Traci Sooter, Director of the Design/Build Program at the Hammons School of Architecture. “It will be open to students of all majors and it’s an incredible opportunity for our students. We’re looking for leaders. We need people who will step up and be great partners in the project. There’s marketing to do, web design, writing, and more. We have lots of room on the team, and we welcome all students of diverse backgrounds.”

Crowder College, a two-year school, has twice before participated in the Solar Decathlon, and has a strong program for solar technology and innovative construction technology, Sooter says. Applicants are now required to have an accredited architecture school, and following Drury’s ongoing efforts in the rebuilding of Joplin, Mo., after the May 2011 tornado, a bond was formed between the two schools, Sooter says.

Sponsors will be needed for the project. Sooter says the community can help the Solar Decathlon team both with both financial support and in-kind support, such as donations of building materials, interior finishing and transportation of the materials to California.

Drury’s Design/Build Program designs and builds projects for communities and agencies in need. In addition to multiple projects in the Joplin area following the 2011 tornado, the program participated in four episodes of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and numerous other projects.

For more information, contact Traci Sooter, Associate Professor of Architecture, at (417) 873-7416 or (417) 234-6405.