Discover Copper Online

Winter 2002

Winning Design Mainly Recycled Copper

It took the team, 80% architectural students and the rest engineers, two years to design and build the 800-square-foot home.How many students does it take to build a prizewinning solar home? "More than 100," according to John D. Quale, assistant professor of architecture at the University of Virginia. He was the faculty advisor to the students whose copper-sided home won a prize in the Solar Decathlon contest this past summer. The principal contest sponsor was the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy. Private-sector sponsors included Home Depot, Electronic Data Systems, BP Solar and the American Institute of Architects.

Because a major objective was to demonstrate that reclaimed materials could be used, Prof. Quale said they chose copper, the most widely recycled metal available. About 1,000 pounds of 16-oz. sheet copper was recycled from a demolished building in Charlottesville, where the university is located, according to Jack Masloff of W. A. Lynch Roofing, the local firm that donated the copper.

itectural students and the rest engineers, two years to design and build the 800-square-foot home. For the judging, it was hauled whole and sited in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Energy efficiency was a major criterion. There are thermal panels on the roof that heat water for heating the house and for the domestic hot water - and there are some similar panels along the bottom of the south wall. Any rainwater on the flat roof of the home is collected in two cylindrical steel tanks mounted on one side and used to water the garden. Photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof generate all electricity.

For more on the contest, see EERE

National Renewable Energy Lab: 303-275-4090
Professor Quale: 434-924 -6450
W.A.Lynch Roofing: 434-295-9194

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