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Entries in Living Light (7)


UT Solar-Powered House Seen by One Million Visitors at Recent Smithsonian Exhibit

Living Light, UT’s solar-powered house, stood on the National Mall in the shadow of some of the nation’s most recognizable architecture as an exhibit at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which concluded earlier this month.

The ten-day event coincided with the 150th anniversaries of the US Department of Agriculture and the Morrill Act, which created land-grant universities. An estimated one million people saw the home and nearly 16,000 toured it during the festival.

The zero-energy home demonstrated the merits of solar-powered living when a large storm struck the nation’s capital on June 29, leaving thousands of residents without power and forcing the festival to close for a day.

Living Light maintained full-power during this time, producing twice the energy the house needed for all its normal day-to-day functions, such as powering its air conditioning, television, kitchen appliances, and lighting. Throughout its entire stay at the festival, the house was completely removed from the electrical grid and self-sustaining in all of its energy production.

The house was one of only seventeen projects selected to represent the nation’s land-grant universities at the Smithsonian festival.


Discover more about the house's visit to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival at its featured story here


UT Solar-Powered House Moving to Nashville as Exhibition

KNOXVILLE—Living Light, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s solar-powered house, is moving to Nashville as part of a multi-city tour of the state.

The 750-square-foot home will be featured at the Tennessee Valley Authority Energy Efficiency Forum February 21—22. The Living Light house will then be on display at Centennial Park from February 29 to April 1.

The house will be open for public tours from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. on most Fridays and from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Living Light placed eighth overall in the US Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon, an international competition in which collegiate teams design, build, and run energy-efficient, solar-powered homes.

The home showcases how solar technology can maximize energy efficiency and sustainability. It also demonstrates how thoughtful design and technology can be used to create greater efficiencies in homes and businesses.

Watch a video on the Tennessee Tour of Living Light:


“We are using the Living Light house as way to directly demonstrate to Tennesseans how to build or retrofit buildings to create sustainable buildings that create energy savings,” said Edgar Stach, professor at UT’s College of Architecture and Design.

Additional educational events about the project are being held in conjunction with tours of the home, as listed below. For more information and updates, click here.

February 23: Urban Design Forum; Nashville Civic Design Center, 38 Second Avenue North, #106, Nashville; 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.; UT architecture professor Edgar Stach, a lead faculty member for Living Light, will provide an overview of the project. Renderings and a model of the house also will be on display.

February 29: Living Light House opening reception; Centennial Park, 2600 W. End Ave, Nashville; 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

March 23: Luncheon with the US Green Building Council, Middle Tennessee Chapter; Adventure Science Center, 800 Ft. Negley Blvd., Nashville; 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; James Rose, LEED AP, will give a case study of the Living Light project.

Living Light was completed by the UT College of Architecture and Design in collaboration with nine UT academic disciplines, including engineering and business. Its transformation to an educational exhibition through the Tennessee Tour is a joint effort of the UT College of Architecture and Design and UT Extension, the outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. Collaborators include TVA and other corporate and alumni partners.

C O N T A C T:

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713, kroeder@utk.edu)


Team Living Light Awarded in Solar Decathlon Engineering Contest

WASHINGTON, DC — The University of Tennessee team, Living Light, placed third in the 2011 Solar Decathlon Engineering Contest. The award is juried upon the house's functionality, efficiency, innovation, reliability and documentation. 

Arching over sixteen other teams, UT is commended for its use of commercially available heating and cooling equipment, as well as its inventive use of a vented double-glass façade system.

To learn more about the enginnering featured at the UT Solar Decathlon house, watch this short special feature by Living Light. 


C O N T A C T:

Kiki Roeder, kroeder@utk.edu

I M A G E  C R E D I T:

Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon


The Solar Decathlon in Pictures

Pictures from the activities and sights at the Solar Decathlon today.

For more images, see the houses, teams and events through some great Solar Decathlon sources:

  • Daily Photography Blog
  • Image Galleries of the Houses
  • Solar Decathlon Flickr Photostream
  • ---

    C O N T A C T:

    Kiki Roeder, kroeder@utk.edu


    Team Tennessee: A Brief Overview of Living Light

    WASHINGTON, DC —  The University of Tennessee team embarked on its quest to compete in the 2011 Solar Decathlon nearly two years ago. In their journey, the team has drawn upon design inspirations from the past, like the cantilever barns of southern Appalachia, to a new vision that embraces innovative technologies such as the house's technologically-advanced double façade system.

    Through the inspiration of "living light," Team Tennessee has integrated its efforts - in engineering, marketing, architecure and more -  on an idea that "not only relates to the sun, daylight and energy," said Living Light, but "is a way of life that actively engages each participant in a learning experience to promote sustainable living." 

    This concept is beautifully documented in this very short video:

    Already placing in the top five in the Architecture Contest, beating out fourteen teams, Living Light hopes to continue its success with the design philosophy, features and technologies that make them unique. Re-published from the Solar of Decathlon Team Tennessee overview, these distinguising qualities are shared here.


    Tennessee seeks to apply global technologies to local contexts. To find the most refined aesthetic expression of these technologies, the team integrated multiple complex systems into relatively few architectural elements. The Living Light design uses passive systems where appropriate and active systems where necessary. The team also used off-the-shelf technologies in innovative ways to meet the needs of today's homeowner.


    Living Light's large, loft-like design includes features such as:

    • A dynamic double façade system made of alternating translucent and transparent panes and horizontal blinds

    • Sensors that automatically manage the electric lighting, which includes color-changing LED strip lights along the façade

    • A home automation system that can be programmed with preferred conditions for activities such as watching a movie or entertaining dinner guests.


    Several technologies distinguish Living Light. These include:

    • A blind system, sandwiched between two panes of glass, that is programmed to provide year-round lighting and shading

    • An energy recovery ventilator that harvests air through the double façade system to supply the house with passively warmed or cooled fresh air

    • Cylindrical modules in the 10.9-kW photovoltaic array that capture sunlight across a 360° surface. 


    C O N T A C T:

    Kiki Roeder, kroeder@utk.edu

    A D D I T I O N A L   S O U R C E S:

    Solar Decathlon, solardecathlon.gov

    Living Light, livinglightutk.com


    UT Moves to Fourth Overall and Third in People's Choice

    KNOXVILLE— The typical routine of a Monday morning in the UT Art+Architecture Building was splashed with excitement in learning that, overnight, Team Living Light moved up to 4th place in the overall rankings of the Solar Decathlon.

    Only judged in four categories at this point, Comfort Zone, Hot Water, Appliances and Home Entertainment, the team trails behind Maryland, Ohio State and Purdue. 

    Continued success seems ahead as Living Light pursues quality placement in the Architecture, Communications and Energy Balance portions of the competition. Announcement of winners will be made later this week.

    The Living Light Team is also faring well in the People's Choice Award, placing 3rd thus far.

    The team still needs the support of the Volunteer Spirit. Offer your votes by visiting the Solar Decathlon webpage. The poll closes Friday, September 30 at 7:00pm. 


    C O N T A CT: Kiki Roeder, kroeder@utk.edu

    I M A G E  C R E D I T: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy


    Team Living Light Vies for Solar Decathlon Prize

    KNOXVILLE— Living Light, the University of Tennessee's state-of-the-art, zero-energy house is at the Washington Mall to compete in the US Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon.

    Representing more than 200 students and nine academic programs, UT’s team will face off against nineteen other teams in a series of ten events beginning September 23. Winners will be announced October 1.

    More than two years of work have gone into qualifying, planning, designing and building the 750-square-foot home inspired by Appalachia’s cantilever barns.

    To see the stunning outcome of Living Light’s work, watch a tour of the home:

    Along with being on display, the house will be part of ten competitive events to judge design excellence, sustainability, energy production, solar energy efficiency, consumer appeal and cost-effectiveness. The house’s energy source must power its appliances and heat water and one event involves cooking and hosting a dinner party.

    Visitors to the Washington Mall will tour the houses and learn how energy-efficient features can help them save money. UT students have been preparing to give tours and have been advised to plan for seeing an average of 400 people an hour through the home.

    UT students designed the structure to be transportable on its own and to avoid extensive construction and set-up that they’ve seen teams struggle through when visiting the past Solar Decathlon competitions.

    Living Light began with students and faculty in the College of Architecture and Design and is led by faculty members James Rose, Edward Stach, Richard Kelso, and Barbara Klinkhammer in the college, along with Deb Shmerler in the School of Art, Leon Tolbert in electrical engineering, and Stan Johnson and Bill Miller in mechanical engineering.

    UT’s competition hails from America and abroad, including Ohio State, Purdue, the University of Illinois, and teams that represent several large schools in Florida, along with New Zealand, China, Belgium, and Canada.

    To show your support, go to this website on September 23 and vote for Living Light to receive the People’s Choice Award. Voting continues until 7:00 p.m. on September 30.


    CONT A C T :

    Kiki Roeder, kroeder@utk.edu