University of Alabama at Birmingham, in partnership with Calhoun Community College, is one of 14 collegiate teams from around the world selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2017 competition. Over the next year, an interdisciplinary team of students from across the university will be engaged in designing and building a house that is completely solar powered.
The process of designing, constructing and testing s u r v i v ( A L ), a net-zero energy, solar-powered home is now underway. Inspired by the devastating impact of the 2011 tornado super outbreak on Alabama communities, s u r v i v ( A L ) house will serve as a model for sustainable, resilient housing for tornado-prone communities.
When team UAB has finished competing in Denver, our house will return to Birmingham and will be rebuilt at UAB’s Sustainable Microgrid Demonstration Site. The site will be the first neighborhood of its kind in Alabama, and the only living lab of its kind at a college or university in the region. The s u r v i v ( A L ) house will be joined by four tiny homes recovered from the 5th Avenue Alagasco site and repurposed as small-scale net-zero housing. The Sustainable Microgrid Demonstration Site will apply a whole-systems design approach to transform a high energy and water dependent area into an energy independent island that presents the smallest footprint possible. The block will feature an orchard, a community garden, and functioning solar, wind, and other renewable-sourced energy installations that will power a microgrid — the neighborhood will provide all of its own energy!
The model site will be studied and managed by resident-researchers who will conduct tours, collect data, and maintain the living spaces and gardens.
Funded by Birmingham, AL (January 2017)