DSC, Embry-Riddle Partner in U.S. Dept. of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2017DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2016) - A group of Daytona State College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students is among just 16 collegiate teams worldwide selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy's prestigious Solar Decathlon 2017 competition. The contest challenges students to design and build solar-powered houses that are affordable, innovative and highly energy-efficient.

"This is a great opportunity for our students from both schools to showcase their talents and pool the knowledge they've gained in their studies to do well in this competition," said DSC President Dr. Tom LoBasso. "It's a testament to the great things that can happen when our institutions work in partnership to create a collaborative learning experience for students."

"The Solar Decathlon puts students' classroom skills to the test in a real-life project that exemplifies teamwork across the disciplines of science, engineering, green technology and mathematics," said Embry-Riddle Interim President Dr. John R. Watret. "Our partnership with Daytona State College combines our unique strengths and provides our students hands-on experience that will help prepare them to be future leaders in the nation's clean-energy workforce."

The students and faculty advisors who compose Team Daytona Beach, as it has been dubbed, met for the first time last week at DSC's Advanced Technology College to review preliminary drawings of several house-design options. The floor plans were created by DSC students majoring in architectural and building technology, and interior design, based on collaboration with the Embry-Riddle group of mechanical and civil engineering students.

"Solar Decathlon is among the largest, most complex and most prestigious collegiate competitions in the world," said Dr. Charles Reinholtz, professor and chair of Embry-Riddle's Mechanical Engineering Department. "Our selection to participate places us among an elite group of top-ranked universities in the United States and abroad. It also validates the quality and reputation of the partner institutions and the faculty, students and corporate sponsors supporting this effort."

"We're so excited to work with Embry-Riddle's engineering team in creating this sustainable home," said Bethany Creamer, assistant chair of DSC's School of Building and Architectural Technology. "It's a wonderful opportunity for our students to actually implement what they learn in the classroom."

The preliminary student drawings feature open floor plans with cross ventilation throughout, strategic window placement to draw in natural light and reduce energy consumption, nano-door technology and other features designed for aging in place, sustainability and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Once final renderings are completed, the team will work together on a nearly two-year endeavor to fully design, construct and test the house before shipping and reassembling it at the Solar Decathlon 2017 site, which will be determined sometime before mid-2017.

The teams will be judged on criteria that include architecture, market appeal, engineering, affordability, and energy balance as they gain hands-on experience in clean-energy design.

For the first time since the competition's inception in 2000, Solar Decathlon 2017 teams will be competing for $2 million in prize money to be divided among the top-placed teams.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 at www.solardecathlon.gov.