Norwich University’s Award-Winning Solar House Earns Recognition in Regional EPA Earth Day Awards

Norwich University Office of Communications

Updated May 1, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – A team of Norwich University students was recognized by the New England Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at this year’s Earth Day ceremony in Boston with a 2015 Environmental Merit Award.

The four alumni and two professors present to receive the award helped design and build Norwich’s Delta T-90, the 2013 solar house that won the affordability category at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif.

The team’s latest accolade from the EPA was bestowed in “recognition of exceptional work and commitment to the environment” at a special ceremony held at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

The annual Earth Day ceremony has recognized the environmental achievements of New Englanders for more than three decades.

“Our students tasked themselves with addressing a real and immediate problem in their community—providing a compelling housing solution that is both affordable and sustainable,” said Aron Temkin, an architect, professor and dean of the College of Professional Schools at Norwich University. “We are very pleased to see them recognized this way, because it reinforces the viability and impact of their work.”

Temkin adds that it also speaks to the impact of the “Norwich educational experience of a cross disciplinary collaboration of designer, engineer and constructor that they will be practicing throughout their careers.”

Today’s EPA merit award is the latest in a string of awards and honors the Delta T-90 solar house has garnered since its inception.

More than a year after successfully competing in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, Norwich University’s Delta T-90 House won the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT) 2014 People’s Choice Award.

The Delta T-90 House models how high performance solar-powered dwellings can be made affordably. At the 2013 US Solar Decathlon event in California, the home earned first-place awards for affordability and energy balance. The team also earned the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction for their character and sportsmanship.

Since the competition’s close, the Delta T-90 house has delivered on its mission to educate the public about residential-scale renewable energy and green-design by becoming part of the Westcott Center for Architecture and Design in Springfield, Ohio. The center boasts a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed prairie-style house and seeks to involve and promote architecture and design practices as a medium for educating K-12 students in social studies, math, science, and the arts.

Since moving to Springfield, the Delta T-90 house has graced the cover of Green Energy Ohio magazine and been the subject of many articles. The house has also helped the Westcott Center earn grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Institute of Museum and Library Services by evidencing strong public outreach capabilities.

Through features like its integrated, digital energy-monitoring dashboard, the Delta T-90 house shows students real-time, measurable evidence of the value of design thinking. It does this by comparing real-time energy use to real-time energy production by the Delta T-90’s 5.84KW solar panel system.

Norwich University Associate Professor Matt Lutz, the faculty leader of the Delta T-90 project, praised the Wescott partnership and the role the Norwich solar house plays today to serve the nonprofit’s central mission.

“The Norwich team couldn’t be more proud of the partnership that the Delta T-90 has helped form with the Westcott Center for Architecture and Design. There, the house is really doing what we intended it to do, to become a living laboratory that will educate the public for years.”

Students and faculty in Norwich University’s College of Professional Schools have now embarked on a plan to design sustainable, micro-houses for low-income Vermonters. Read about the project here.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here:    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886; 595-3613