One of our supporters Dr. David James UNLV engineering professor is the principal faculty investigator for the 2017 UNLV Solar Decathlon team.
Plus he came up with a unique idea to advance the projects purpose:
After skipping the 2015 competition, UNLV was again chosen for the 2017 Solar Decathlon. The group of students and advisers has given themselves a bigger challenge – the home will not only be sustainable and solar powered, but will cater to people who have limited mobility – like those who are aging or those with physical disabilities.
He came up with the idea of designing the house for aging in place. James told KNPR’s State of Nevada he knew from dealing with his elderly parents the difficulties of living in a home that wasn’t designed for limited abilities.
He also wanted to stand out from the competitors, which were mostly designed for first-time homeowners.
“We had amazing response to this idea,” James said.
The month-long competition takes place in October of 2017, but students are already working on the project, and are recruiting other students from across disciplines.
James said the team will need students from “all disciplines across the university,” from writers to health sciences and even video production.
The teams have to cook a meal, so they need culinary students and advisers. They have to build the home to be taken apart and put back up again in the competition location, so they need engineers who can come up with the most efficient design. They have to make their home easy to use for people with limited mobility. UNLV just happens to offer a masters program in architectural health care.