UAB solar house unveiled (videos)

UAB Solar Team
Photo by Pat Byington

Yesterday, a team of  University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) students unveiled the beginning stages of a house powered completely by solar energy. When completed, the house will compete against 11 other colleges from around the world.

UAB is among an elite group of collegiate teams selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 competition. UAB’s team is made up of students from a variety of disciplines across the university who have begun working on the house, along with students from neighboring Calhoun Community College.

Audio: WBHM Story about the UAB Solar House 

The team is working toward completing the design, construction and testing stages for what they have dubbed the surviv(AL) house, before bringing it to the Solar Decathlon 2017 competition site in Denver for the October event.

Once the house has been completed and tested on the UAB campus, it will be disassembled and transported to a competition site, where it will be reassembled in a village along with the 11 other solar houses.

“The Solar Decathlon attracted more than 60,000 visitors last year, so this is an incredible opportunity for UAB students to showcase their talent and capacity to the world in 2017,” said Bambi Ingram, UAB Sustainability program administrator.

The Solar Decathlon village and competition houses will be open to the public at the site located at the 61st & Peña Station on the University of Colorado campus. Here are the dates the house will be on display.

  • Thursday, Oct. 5-Sunday, Oct. 8: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 9: 1-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 12-Sunday, Oct. 15: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The Solar Decathlon 2017 teams will be competing for a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $300,000 in prize money.

Once the competition is over, the house will be returned to UAB and become a permanent net-positive building on campus, where it will be available for sustainability research and other uses, all while helping raise awareness and educating the public about renewable energy.


Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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