Solar House Groundraising Tomorrow

LEAFHouse SiteConstruction fencing for a new building has appeared on campus. However, the solar-powered structure that will appear on the site isn’t permanent: it’s the University of Maryland entry to the 2007 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, to be held on the national mall this October.

This Wednesday, April 4th, the University of Maryland LEAFHouse team will be hold a groundraising event at the School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning. The event, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., will feature site tours and presentations and a chance to meet the participants and sponsors of the LEAFHouse team. The event is free, and will be a great opportunity to get involved in and raise awareness of sustainable building practices. If you plan on attending, please email

LEAFHouse CribbingThe LEAFHouse is the University of Maryland’s 2007 entry into the Solar Decathlon, a national event organized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. A total of 20 schools have been selected to compete in this year’s event. Entries are judged on criteria ranging from the architecture, engineering, comfort, and even the hot water and lighting systems.

The University of Maryland’s project engages the Chesapeake Bay watershed context for a smart, adaptable, resource-efficient home powered by renewable energy. The house demonstrates both tradition and modern design practices that serve to make solar power an integral part of a sustainable lifestyle. The design of the LEAFHouse plans to balance energy resourceful technologies, green building practices, and modular and prefabricated construction techniques into an aesthetically pleasing design. The project team aims to produce an environmentally sensitive house that meets and surpasses the contest goals for sustainable energy independence. For more information visit

Published by

Evan Hauptmann

2007 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

4 thoughts on “Solar House Groundraising Tomorrow”

  1. The last solar house built on the mall by University students was to have been dismantled and turned over to the City-University Partnership for rebuilding on a local site. However, the dismantling was not able to be done in a way that the building could be salvaged to be rebuilt.

  2. As a very active member of the first solar decathlon team, I must correct you, Robert. The house was built on campus, dismantled, and reassembled on the mall in three days. It was dismantled again and brought back to campus where it could have easily been reassembled in less than a week. The powers that be at the university decided that since the structure was not part of the campus master plan, that there was no place for it on the campus. It was left to sit for weeks and then demolished and sent to the county landfill. There were several individuals that expressed interest in buying/saving the house from the university with the intent to reassemble it on their own property (myself included). We were told that for liability reasons, the university could not sell or donate the house. The university wasted tens of thousands of man hours, over $100k of building materials, and destroyed a house that was a fully self sustaining 800 sq ft house with the latest and greatest green technologies. Oh the irony.

  3. Perhaps the story we got was at odds with the facts. The Partnership’s director told us that the Partnership could get the house to locate off campus after it waas removed from the mall. The next time we heard about the house we were told that it was so badly damaged when being dismantled that it couldn’t be rebuilt. Stories and facts that don’t match up – not exactly a rare occurance. Thanks for the information mp.

  4. I wonder how much repairs would have cost? Perhaps the city-university partnership could have allocated a portion of their $100,000 annual budget to preserving this unique example of student work.

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