At Home for the Mojave Desert

By , June 13, 2013

University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV) creates a home called the DesertSol that responds to the unique environmental changes of the Mojave Desert that will be featured at the upcoming Solar Decathlon competition in Irvine, CA. Lead by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon aims to challenge college students to create, design and build a home that is self-sufficient, appealing and affordable—one that educates the public about saving money while benefiting the environment. Alexia Chen, a member of Team Vegas, expresses her excitement about the project and talks about their team. “This is the first time we [UNLV] got accepted into the Solar Decathlon so we are very excited! We proposed to the committee in November of 2011 and gained acceptance in early 2012” says Chen. With 60 students working on the project from all types of majors and backgrounds including journalism, engineering, architecture, marketing etc., a sense of community and unity is established throughout the college campus. Even the slightest parts of the home are well researched, designed and thought out to help achieve the highest levels of energy-efficiency; one of the main reasons why they chose to include a NanaWall system in their home. “NanaWall systems provide the best performance windows and doors. We were debating between many doors but when we got down to the technical’s after lots of research and by visiting a tradeshow, the NanaWall system most certainly had the highest performance… they are [also] custom-made and offer flexibility,” says Chen. Team members say that “By capturing the ever-abundant sunlight and conserving the rare and precious water of the desert, the DesertSol house will allow its occupants to live independently and age comfortably in a home that touches the ground lightly but lives large.”