U of L Solar House nearing completion - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L Solar House nearing completion

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is called the Phoenix House: a solar house being built by U of L and Ball State University students behind U of L's Speed School, on a large vacant lot between the school and Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

"We developed the concept for the house after the Henryville tornado," said Ball State student Zach Kendall.

The house is designed to be brought to the scene of a natural disaster.

Kendall goes on to explain, "With the destruction from the Henryville, Indiana tornado, we wanted to construct something that could be built from the ground up as a symbol of hope and rebirth."

The house runs on solar power and can be erected at the site of a disaster within a week.

"What they are trying to do," explained Speed School civil engineering professor Mark McGinley, "is to instead of having temporary housing, disaster victims will be quickly given a house that could become their permanent home."

The students began building the house in April. It's just about finished.

"We are putting in the siding, getting everything finished on the inside," said Speed School student Connor Click. "We are in the homestretch, getting pretty darn close to being finished."

The wood- and steel-framed house is a prototype, and consists of two modules that can be separated and moved to a new location on a large truck.

That will come in handy because the house is headed for California shortly after it's finished. There, it will be entered in the international competition: the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon.

The students believe they have a good chance of winning.

"There was an online magazine," said Kendall, "and we were noted as one of the five teams to look out for, so we have very high expectations."

Before the house is shipped to California, Louisville-area residents can get a chance to see the finished house on Aug. 24.

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