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Students might one day live in UAB solar-powered home

The house on 11th Avenue South on UAB's campus is 100% solar-powered and won fifth place in a...
The house on 11th Avenue South on UAB's campus is 100% solar-powered and won fifth place in a global competition for sustainability.({Source: WBRC})
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019 at 10:46 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A building on the UAB campus is unlike any other, a real house of the future-- a safe house that also uses solar power.

If you’ve driven down 11th Avenue South on the UAB campus lately, then you’ve seen the mysterious house hiding behind a green curtain.

“This is UAB’s entry into 2017 United States Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Competition,” says Sustainability Manager Julie Price.

The Decathlon is a competition of universities across the globe to build a 100% solar powered home.

“You can have a dinner party, you can do laundry, you can charge an electric car for your commute.”

The house was built with green materials for a low cost. However, most people don’t normally associate “green” with durability, but the inner-most closet was designed to be a safe room.

“Able to withstand 250 mile an hour winds. So, if you had an event like that, you could just go to the interior of the house where it’s locked into the ground and be safe.”

Now there’s the chance the house will serve as a living/learning opportunity.

“And then eventually we hope to make it part of our residence portfolio where we have students who may apply to live there and be sort of scientists-in-residence. Many people were so excited to see that our house wasn’t like a spaceship. There were a lot of houses that were kind of funky that you might not want to live in. But our house is like a regular house, it just happens to be solar-powered.”

The house, built by students, won fifth place overall in a sustainability competition, beating out the team from the Netherlands and the University of California at Davis. They also won first in energy production. They hope to have a grand opening on Earth Day April 22nd.

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