Event: Unveiling Ceremony

August 3, 2012

Image of wooden 3-D Model of Urban Eden

Throughout this process of designing the next generation of sustainable homes, only our team has seen the design and innovations we will be implementing in the AIM House. This will change on Monday, September 17.

On September 17, we will unveil to the world our design for the AIM House and the technologies that will orchestrate its systems.


Meg Freeman Whalen, Director of Communications and External Relations

UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture



UNC Charlotte Solar Decathlon Team Unveils Design

September 17

The UNC Charlotte Solar Decathlon team will present its solar house design at a public unveiling on Monday, September 17 at 4:00 p.m. at the UNC Charlotte Center City building. The team will enter the house in the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, an international competition to be held in Irvine, California, in October 2013.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges 20 university teams, through a series of 10 contests, to demonstrate inventive clean-energy solutions by building completely solar-powered houses that feature energy-efficient construction and appliances and renewable energy systems. Since its inception in 2002, the Solar Decathlon has grown into one of the most highly anticipated design competitions in the world, attracting more than 300,000 visitors in 2011. For more about the Solar Decathlon, visit http://www.urbaneden.gov/.

“The Solar Decathlon is probably the most prestigious and challenging design competition in the United States,” said UNC Charlotte School of Architecture Director Chris Jarrett. “UNC Charlotte’s selection to participate in the Solar Decathlon is an extraordinary opportunity for the university and its partners to be in an international spotlight with respect to issues of renewable energy and solar power.”

The competition is an intensely challenging exercise that provides participants with hands-on training, fosters inter-disciplinary collaboration, inspires innovation and research, and educates the public about the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The UNC Charlotte team is comprised of faculty and students from three different areas: the School of Architecture, the College of Engineering, and the College of Business.

UNC Charlotte’s house incorporates truly revolutionary approaches to sustainable design and construction, including the choice of building material, an innovative passive cooling and heating system, and responsive technology that allows the house and its inhabitants to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Work began on the  design in October 2011, and the final product will be kept secret until the September 17 unveiling.

The UNC Charlotte team will break ground on its solar house in January 2013 and will complete construction next summer before transporting the house to California in September 2013. The competition takes place October 3-13.