Tellus Science Museum has entered into a partnership with West Virginia University (WVU) to bring the 2015 WVU Solar Decathlon House to the grounds of the Museum. The agreement is contingent on Tellus raising approximately $100,000 to cover acquisition, site preparation and installation costs. Tellus Museum Director Jose Santamaria says this is an important project for the museum and the community. “We are bringing a technologically advanced and beautiful home to North Georgia and turning it into an exciting exhibit for the public.”

The WVU Solar House is one of 20 homes designed and built by universities around the world for the highly competitive 2015 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon which took place in Irvine California in October 2015. The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. 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 WVU House combines Appalachian and Italian architectural design with innovative energy techniques, showcasing how solar power technology can be integrated into a comfortable home environment. Once installed at Tellus, exhibit panels designed by Tellus staff will be installed explaining the home’s design and describing technologies used. Highly-trained staff will interpret the solar house’s significant features to the public when it is open. During times when it is closed, the home’s numerous glass walls will allow visitors the opportunity to look inside, view many of the exhibit panels and still get a sense of the home.

This exhibit will replace the 2007 Georgia Tech Solar Decathlon House, a very popular attraction at Tellus, which permanently closed October 18, 2015. “The Georgia Tech Solar House has been visited by over a quarter million visitors since we installed it in 2009,” said Santamaria. “However, the technology on display is no longer “cutting edge” and the eight-year-old structure was not designed to last this long. We are very appreciative to Georgia Tech and Green Habitats, the house’s steward, for the opportunity to showcase this technology, and look forward to refreshing and updating the exhibit.”

Everyone interested in supporting this exciting new project at Tellus is invited to call Adam Wade, Tellus Director of Development, at (770) 606-5713 or click here to make your donation now.

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