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UW Solar Decathlon Home Takes Shape Near Lander

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A solar powered home that is being built in the foothills of Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains 10 miles southwest of Lander, represents the entry by a team of University of Wyoming students in an international competition to design zero-energy buildings. The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home is part of the 2023 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 20th annual Solar Decathlon Build Challenge. The Solar Decathlon Build Challenge is DOE’s longest-tenured student competition, challenging 40,000 students across the world to use the latest technologies to design and build the most sustainable buildings possible.

(Dhawal Jain Photo)

The students from UW’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences are among 16 finalist teams — selected from 23 collegiate institutions spanning four countries — that have been awarded $50,000 in prize funding to build and exhibit their groundbreaking, zero-energy buildings this spring, when they will compete for grand prizes. The UW Solar Decathlon Build Challenge house is designed in a modern Mountain West style. It will have a super insulated and air-tight envelope; advanced heating systems, including a heat pump and radiant floors; green building materials; and a large array of solar panels to ensure the home will produce more energy than it consumes on an annual basis. Once the home is completed, it will be made available for sale.

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