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Construction of Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Entry Underway:Des - KOAM TV 7

Construction of Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Entry Underway:Design Inspired by Joplin Tornado

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           Students from Crowder College and Drury University are teaming up to build a house inspired by the Joplin tornado and response.  The solar powered home will be entered into Solar Decathlon competition in Irvine California.

            The house theme, shelter cubed, incorporates three goals: respond, recover, and resist.

Drury and Crowder students are now in construction mode of their solar decathlon house entry. Built as two modules, it's transportable to competition and disaster sites for response and recovery. But it's also built to resist storm winds. Zip sheeting is just the first exterior layer. Then there is Lexan, a polycarbonate like bullet proof glass. Then Swiss pearl.

Terry Clarkson, Crowder construction instructor says, "It's a special composite siding material that's put on.  It's projectile resistant.

On the outside of that, we have this fence that's two inches out that's projectile resistant. It's kind of like a fabric in a bullet proof vest, like kevlar."

Drury architecture students created the designs around solar needs which all come to life in an animated video which mentions metal storm doors as a key component. It's one the students hope to have automated to storm alerts.

But Drury architecture students are also here to help build it.

Shauntae Taylor, a Drury architecture major says, “It's been really helpful for in the future when I'm designing things. Knowing how things actually go together when they're made in real life, it helps design things."

The structure of the house has steel “c” channels around the whole floor which will be tied to a ceiling “c” channel connected by steel rods.

 Project manager Jarren Welch from Crowder says, “We kind of created a roll cage around ours to keep the floor and roof connected."

Students get lots of hands on experience but part of the education is learning to deal with challenges that come up on the job.

 Clarkson says, “One length of one “c” channel, our heaviest one is

 570 pounds so we have to figure out how we're going to lift 570 pounds in our shop here without a crane or a lift."

Welch says, “I  get project management skills. I get construction skills. I'm learning from my mentors. Even from the solar side, which  I went to school for, the designing of the system and all the electrical work."

Students say they collaborate. And their work doesn't end with construction.

Drury co-project manager Alaa Alardwan says, "Part of the competition of the  contest is for it to be marketable and affordable. So we want to make sure even though  we are designing it with a tornado resistant element  in mind, to make it feel homey."

The house is constructed on a tight budget with students seeking donated materials and funds.

To see details and animated video of the project click here  
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