Feb. 28, 2012
CUA Kicks off Second Solar Design Competition
Students to Design Shelters to Encourage Shuttle Use
“How many people here want to win $3,000?” Brian Alexander, director of utilities and energy management, asked a group of students earlier this month before presenting them with a challenge to help contribute to the University’s sustainability efforts.
The students all raised their hands.
Following the success of the solar picnic table competition in 2010, this year’s contest aims to cut down on the use of cars on campus by creating visible and comfortable shelters for people to wait for University shuttles.
The contest challenges students to create shelters that are easy to find, well lit, and designed to provide information on the shuttle bus service on campus. They also must function without using any outside power sources — solar panels and batteries are suggested materials.
According to the University’s proposed 2012 Master Plan, CUA is committed to reducing the number of cars carrying a single person to campus by 5 percent. Alexander says he hopes that if people see shuttle stops that are protected from the weather, they will be more inclined to leave their cars at home and use public transportation.
Students are encouraged to work with faculty experts to help ensure their designs are effective, including Scott Mathews, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Chris Grech, associate professor of architecture and planning and director of the Master of Sustainable Design program.
Undergraduate and graduate students at Catholic University are eligible to participate. Teams should comprise three to seven students, with at least one engineering major and one architecture major. Students interested in participating in the competition should submit a team roster to Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 2.
Completed designs, including construction drawings, cost estimates, and a one-tenth scale model, are due to judges by Friday, April 13. Final judging will take place the following week. Judges will include representatives from the University, Standard Solar, and Washington Gas Energy Services.
Projects will be judged on their architecture and aesthetics, marketability, functionality and innovation, and safety, and on how well the team members worked together. The winning team will be awarded $3,000.
For complete rules and design parameters, visit http://green.cua.edu/SolarDesign.cfm.
For more information on Catholic University’s sustainability efforts, visit http://green.cua.edu/news.cfm.