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UNLV’s Student-Led Solar Decathlon Team Nears $1 Million Sponsorship Goal

Fundraising for universitywide collaboration surpasses $750,000 with support from Switch and NV Energy Foundation.
Business & Community  |  Feb 3, 2017  |  By Cheryl Bella
Media Contact: Cheryl Bella, 702-895-3965 office/ 702-499-3930 cell/ [email protected]

UNLV’s Team Las Vegas design of a full-size solar-powered house for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Solar Decathlon

Switch and NV Energy Foundation are lending their support to help UNLV’s Team Las Vegas design and build a full-size solar-powered house for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Solar Decathlon competition in October. Thanks to these key sponsors and other donors, the project is close to achieving its $1 million fundraising goal.

The Solar Decathlon competition showcases innovative solar powered homes that are designed, built, and operated by collegiate teams. The competition winner will best demonstrate its ability to blend technology, market potential and design excellence with smart energy production and maximum efficiency. DesertSol, UNLV’s 2013 entry, placed first among American universities and second overall in this international competition.

“Solar Decathlon is truly a collaborative project, bringing together an interdisciplinary team of UNLV students and faculty and incorporating input and guidance from the very community the home is being built for,” said Rama Venkat, dean of the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering. “And none of it would be possible without the ideas, innovations, and significant funding by major industry partners and market innovators including Switch and NV Energy Foundation.”

In addition to a home that blends design excellence with optimal energy efficiency, Team Las Vegas’ home will meet a growing social need – aging-in-place. Nationally it is projected that by 2030 one out of every five people in the United States will be 65 or older. UNLV’s vision is for an energy-efficient and health-conscious home for active aging citizens of Las Vegas and beyond. The home will combine accessibility and interior comfort with smart home and health-monitoring technologies to help older adults move safely in their environment, communicate with care givers and social services, and ultimately remain in their homes longer.

UNLV is one of 13 university teams worldwide accepted to compete in the 2017 competition. The multi-disciplinary team includes faculty and students from the School of Architecture, the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, the School of Allied Health Sciences, and the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.

The project is being supported by donors including Zappos, Southern Nevada International Code Council (SNICC), Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, Tiberti Fencing, and Walker Zanger. In addition, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is providing AWS Promotional Credits for cloud technology and services. The public is also encouraged to give at whatever level they can on UNLV’s online crowdfunding platform, Rebel Raiser.

Solar Decathlon 2017 is scheduled for October 9-15, in Denver, Colorado.

Learn more about Team Las Vegas’ entry and the Solar Decathlon competition at unlvsd.com. To become a sponsor contact Jack Aylor at [email protected] or 702-895-2913.

Follow the team on Facebook at Team Las Vegas Solar Decathlon 2017 (@UNLVSD17), on Twitter @UNLVSD17, and on Instagram @UNLVSD17.

About UNLV

UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of approximately 29,000 students and more than 3,000 faculty and staff that is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with high research activity. UNLV offers a broad range of respected academic programs and is on a path to join the top tier of national public research universities. The university is committed to recruiting and retaining top students and faculty, educating the region's diversifying population and workforce, driving economic activity through increased research and community partnerships, and creating an academic health center for Southern Nevada that includes the launch of a new School of Medicine.  UNLV is located on a 332-acre main campus and two satellite campuses in Southern Nevada. Learn more at UNLV.edu

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UNLV’s Team Las Vegas design of a full-size solar-powered house for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Solar Decathlon