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Living Light House conceptual model. Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Want to know more about the glass house on the Humanities Plaza?

Called the UT Zero Energy House, it’s the headquarters for an interdisciplinary team’s preparations for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011 competition.

The UT community is invited to a celebration and kickoff for the team’s project entry into the competition and to learn more about the project.

The event is from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, May 10, at the UT Zero Energy House on Humanities Plaza across from Circle Park.

UT’s Team Living Light is one of only 20 teams chosen to design and build a marketable, functioning, solar powered house for the international contest in October 2011. Although the Solar Decathlon began in 2002, this marks the first time UT Knoxville will compete.

The project involves more than 100 students and faculty members from the College of Architecture and Design, College of Engineering and School of Art who will compete against teams from the likes of Purdue University, The Ohio State University, University of Maryland, as well as institutions in New Zealand, China, Belgium and Canada.

Faculty members Edgar Stach and James Rose will make a presentation about the project and refreshments will be provided.

Site selection for the Living Light House is currently underway. Inspired by Appalachia’s cantilever barns, the design must accommodate its transportation and installation on the National Mall site.

Over the next year, the interdisciplinary team will test and create new innovations in

2009 Solar Decathlon competition on the Washington Mall. Photo courtesy of Stefano Paltera, U.S. Department of Energy.

building materials, information technology, energy efficiency and home design to best demonstrate sustainable energy resources. The house’s energy source must power its appliances and heat water.

Along with being on display, the house will be part of 10 competitive events which judge design excellence, sustainability, energy production, solar energy efficiency, consumer appeal and cost-effectiveness. Visitors to the mall will be able to tour the houses and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money.

Team Living Light must also recruit sponsors and in-kind donors to support the effort. For more information, visit or

C O N T A C T :

Edgar Stach, (865-974-5265,

James Rose, (865-974-5267,

Kristi Hintz, (865-974-3993,