University of Calgary

Solar home project receives $600,000

UToday HomeJune 23, 2011

The Cenovus TRTL entry will compete in the Solar Decathlon, September 23rd to October 2nd, 2011, which is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Energy to advance the use of solar technologies in residential housing.  Photo credit Riley BrandtThe Cenovus TRTL entry will compete in the Solar Decathlon, September 23rd to October 2nd, 2011, which is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Energy to advance the use of solar technologies in residential housing.
Photo by Riley Brandt
“Team Canada,” the student-led team building a solar-powered home for a high-profile international competition has a new title sponsor and a new name for their project, “Cenovus TRTL,” after Cenovus Energy donated $600,000.

The team is building a 1,000-square-foot modular home and will take it apart this fall and ship it to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Solar Decathlon.

Cenovus TRTL (Technological Residence Traditional Living) addresses critical issues in Aboriginal housing, integrating green building and cultural design drivers to create a healthy, safe, durable, and affordable net-zero home that responds to unique values and interests.

“We’re proud to sponsor Team Canada as they embark on this challenging project that may offer solutions to real world energy and housing issues,” says Judy Fairburn, an executive vice-president at Cenovus. “These young innovators are taking a creative approach to addressing social needs through technology.”

The collaborative effort is led by EVDS students with support from engineering and business students. More than 60 students, professors and community leaders–including members of the Treaty 7 First Nations of Southern Alberta–have contributed toward the design of the sustainable and culturally inspired home.

“This student-led initiative speaks volumes to the talent and energy of our students, so it is gratifying to have Cenovus recognize the important role our students play in the ever changing housing and energy fields,” says Bob Ellard, the university’s facilities, management and development vice-president.

The Solar Decathlon from September 23 to October 2 2011 is sponsored mainly by the U.S. Department of Energy to advance the use of solar technologies in residential housing. It takes place every two years at a ‘solar village’ created on the National Mall, West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Twenty teams from around the world vie to design, build and operate the most energy-efficient solar-powered home.

In 2009, the university’s first entry, SolAbode, placed sixth out of 20 teams and received an Alberta Emerald Award and the Calgary Award for Environmental Excellence.

For more information about Team Canada, visit: www.solardecathlon.ca

For more information about the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, visit: www.solardecathlon.org