On August 28, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid visited DesertSol—the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) house that won second place overall in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. Now located permanently at the Springs Preserve just outside Las Vegas, Nevada, DesertSol has been one of the Preserve’s most popular attractions since it opened to the public in March 2014, reports Carol Laurie for Solar Decathon.
Credit: Springs Preserve
Senator Reid joined former UNLV decathletes for a tour of the house led by Alexia Chen. After the tour, the senator talked on the front patio with Solar Decathlon alumni about sustainability and what they have been doing since the competition.
Everyone had a good time at this event—especially the decathletes, who were still marveling at the house they built and how it continues to teach the public. Several of the former UNLV students raved to me about what a beneficial learning experience the Solar Decathlon was for them. The senator’s visit was a proud moment for the students, the university, and the Springs Preserve. –Richard King, Solar Decathlon director.
DesertSol is now a permanent exhibit in the Springs Preserve Botanical Gardens, where visitors can tour the house and learn more about its features. The University of Nevada Las Vegas designed the house to reflect the spirit of the Mojave Desert. With reverence to the sun as both a source of harsh conditions and a solution for sustainable living, DesertSol harnesses abundant sunlight for solar electricity while capturing rain to provide evaporative cooling and irrigation.
The Springs Preserve, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is a 180-acre cultural institution designed to commemorate Las Vegas’ dynamic history and provide a vision for a sustainable future. The Springs Preserve features museums, galleries, outdoor events, colorful botanical gardens that include DesertSol, and an interpretive trail system through a scenic wetland habitat. Pardee Homes, one of the sponsors of DesertSol, helped the team prepare the site and rebuild the house at its permanent Springs Preserve location.
- The Springs Preserve has wonderful photos of the ultra-efficient DesertSol solar house, you can see them here: Springs Preserve, Photos: DesertSol
- You can also see more photos from Solar Decathlon 2013 of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, DesertSol here: Affordability and Market Appeal Solar Decathlon Winners!
Source: 1Sun4All. Reproduced with permission.
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