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Groundbreaking Is March 27 for Team Tidewater’s Solar Decathlon House

Solar Decathlon Canopy HouseCanopy House

Hampton University and Old Dominion University students will begin construction on their solar-powered house for Solar Decathlon 2013 with a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, March 27, on the HU campus.

The groundbreaking will take place adjacent to HU's Bemis Hall, starting at 11 a.m.

HU and ODU, working together as Team Tidewater Virginia, are one of 20 teams selected out of a highly competitive pool of international entrants for the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2013. The event challenges teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. Team Tidewater's entry for this year's contest is the Canopy House.

Richard King, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, will speak at the groundbreaking ceremony. Team Tidewater will also showcase design renderings of the solar-powered home and answer questions about the design.

This is the second consecutive Solar Decathlon for Team Tidewater. The two schools finished 14th in the 2011 Solar Decathlon finals, held in Washington, D.C.

The Canopy House, inspired by the forest canopy, will feature a canopy that spreads above the home as the roof. The canopy roof holds solar panels to capture the solar energy that will serve the home. The design harnesses the power of the sun, both as an energy-efficient method for providing heat and electricity, and as an integral foundation for the home's innovative technology.

The Canopy House also integrates universal design strategies, making sustainable living accessible to all people, regardless of physical impairments and limitations. The Canopy House is designed to allow its owners to age-in-place comfortably, safely and smartly.

For more information about Team Tidewater and its Solar Decathlon entry, visit http://www.canopyhouse.org/index.html.