November 7, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 7, 2014 — The race is on for the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team. In less than a year, the student-led team of more than 50 undergraduates will be in Irvine, Calif., competing against groups from Yale, Vanderbilt, Missouri S&T and more in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015.
The competition challenges collegiate teams to design, engineer, market and construct solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. While all teams will be building homes that are “green,” the Crowder-Drury team has self-imposed the additional challenge of making its home disaster resilient following the devastation of the 2011 Joplin tornado.
The Department of Energy requires teams to take a multi-disciplinary approach, which has drawn students from a variety of majors. Students from Crowder College’s Alternative Energy Program have teamed up with peers at Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture for the concept and design phases. They’re joined by business, communication and art students who are tasked with helping market the project. The team’s website is now live.
Team seeks funding
The team has also secured several crucial gifts and in-kind donations to help make the project a reality. While the Dept. of Energy provides a stipend for some aspects of the competition, the teams themselves need to raise approximately $250,000 for materials and construction, as well as transportation of the team and house itself to California. Right now, the Crowder-Drury total is approximately $115,000, or about 46 percent of the overall goal.
Major gifts so far include:
- Springfield-based transportation company TCSI Transland, Inc., has donated the use of three semi-trucks to haul the materials to California – a value of approximately $24,000. TCSI CEO Mark Walker ’79 is a Drury University alumnus and has participated in four Solar Decathlons in the past.
- An anonymous gift of $20,000.
- Community Bank and Trust in Neosho has donated $10,000.
- Drury’s Student Government Association has directed $30,000 for use by the team.
“The Solar Decathlon is one of the best forms of applied learning I’ve seen,” says TCSI Transland CEO Walker. “It also increases public awareness of the importance and practicality of using renewable natural resources in public housing. All of us at Transland are excited about the responsibility of safely transporting the Crowder-Drury Team house to Irvine.”
Those interested in supporting the project with a gift or in-kind donation can contact Traci Sooter, associate professor of architecture, at (417) 873-7416.