Rice’s Solar Decathalon Entry On The Move

September 24, 2009

Today the 20-ton ZEROW HOUSE built by a team of Rice University students will be lifted by crane onto a truck that will transport the building about 1,500 miles to Washington, D.C., for the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, an international competition on the National Mall Oct. 9-18.

The moving process began about 6 a.m. and entailed lifting the 800-square-foot house onto a flatbed truck that will ferry it to a three-axle 18-wheeler stationed just outside campus. The crane will then transfer the house onto the 18-wheeler, which will take it to the nation’s capital.

While other teams in the competition are operating on half-a-million-dollar budgets, ZEROW HOUSE was created with a building and material budget of about $150,000 so that its design and concepts could be replicated in six energy-efficient, one- and two-bedroom homes on two 50-by-80-foot lots in Houston’s Third Ward.

After the Solar Decathlon, ZEROW HOUSE will be transported back to its permanent location in Houston — at the corner of Francis Street and Bastrop Street. There, two local residents to be selected by Project Row Houses will call it home.

Over the past two years, more than 150 Rice students have worked on ZEROW HOUSE with the support of engineering and architecture faculty members. The team of Rice students was the only one from Texas among the 20 teams chosen from around the world to participate in the decathlon. You can follow the progress of the ZEROW HOUSE team on their Web site at  or on Twitter.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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