For Immediate Release
December 18, 2007
Contacts: Beth Cavanaugh, 301-405-4625 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryland Graduates Inspired by Experiences Outside the Classroom
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Among the more than 2,500 University of Maryland students who will be receiving degrees at winter commencement, three Master of Architecture students have had an opportunity to apply what they've learned in the classroom in the real world.
John Morris, of White Plains, Md.,Kim Singleton, of Baltimore, and Brittany Williams, of Manasquan, NJ, were leading members of the University of Maryland 2007 Solar Decathlon team, which won second place in the U.S. Department of Energy's 2007 International Solar Decathlon in October. The team's entry, the LEAFHouse, named for "Leading Everyone to an Abundant Future," was designed and constructed with solar power central to the high quality environmentally sustainable lifestyle of the 21st century.
John, Kim, and Brittany were part of the multidisciplinary team that, for two years, generated concepts, programming, design documents, and construction elements, then built the house, with assistance from industry mentors, sponsors and other University departments. Completely run by solar power, the house features a sophisticated photovoltaic power system that generates enough clean power to run the household. It also features a unique liquid desiccant wall, which, through a waterfall feature inside the house, captures moisture out of the air - functioning as a dehumidifier.
The Maryland team not only was the judges' pick for second place, they won the BP Solar People's Choice Award, for receiving the most votes by visitors during its nine days on display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
With two years invested in the project, John, Kim and Brittany, who graduate on December 19, all plan to continue their commitment to the project by volunteering to help re-assemble the house at its permanent location on Maryland's campus.
John considers being part of the LEAFHouse project a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "LEAFHouse was the first real world opportunity for me to see how sustainable and environmentally-friendly elements can be designed and detailed into a building," he said. John hopes to implement his experience in sustainable design practices and strategies in his career.
Kim, who will also serve on the re-installation team, found the Solar Decathlon to be an eye-opening experience. "With the built environment accounting for a high percentage of greenhouse gases, I saw firsthand how important it is to incorporate environmentally-friendly design methods and solar technologies into a project," said Kim. She hopes to mentor future Solar Decathlon teams at Maryland.
Through her experience with the LEAFHouse, Brittany has also been inspired to pursue a career path in architecture focusing on environmentally-friendly practices. "I plan on becoming LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited and hope to work for a firm that incorporates sustainable practices," said Brittany.
These three exceptional graduating students also plan to work with faculty members to further streamline the LEAFHouse design to make it more modular and efficient. They hope to take their design to market through a home builder and make it available for sale to the general public.
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