The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture has announced plans to build a completely solar-powered home. More than 25 UT architecture and engineering students and faculty plus a number of industry partners are building ‘BLOOMhouse,’ a sustainable and green-built home that is being planned as the university's entry in the 2007 Solar Decathlon, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) competition taking place October 12-20 in Washington, D.C. The BLOOMhouse, which will be built in a hangar at a local airport, will be transported to Washington for the DOE competition.
Design principles for the UT entry include natural ventilation, sunlight and rainwater harvesting, regional and durable building materials, graceful aging and a fun, energy-efficient lifestyle for the homeowner. The university estimates the construction cost for the competition home at $350,000, but it is designing a marketable prototype at an estimated cost of $223,000.