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Update on Maison Reciprocity Entry for the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe

Update on Maison Reciprocity Entry for the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe

  • May 15, 2014
  • by lwinkler

As a bit of a recap, Maison Reciprocity is the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 entry of Team Réciprocité, a partnership between undergraduate and graduate students of Appalachian State University and Université d’Angers. The international competition, inspired by the U.S. Solar Decathlon, challenges collegiate teams from all over the world to design, build, and operate cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive solar-powered houses. The competition will take place in June and July 2014 in Versailles, France.

Columbia Forest Products partnered with  Appalachian State University (ASU) students to supply PureBond panels, which use soy-based technology that would reduce the environmental footprint of the construction. In additional, not only was soy-based, formaldehyde-free plywood recognized as an important feature of Maison Reciprocity but also durable floor matting as part of ASU’s solar-powered row house developed with their partner school, the Université d’Angers (U d’A). The Boone, North Carolina University is one of three U.S. schools chosen for this complementary competition to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

The students have worked day and night to design and build the house that they will also disassemble and ship to France from Norfolk, Virginia on May 16. Once in Versailles, students from both universities will unite to reassemble and then compete in the house that offers multiple environmental attributes for all.

Students used 1,700 square feet of Columbia Forest Products’ PureBond® hardwood plywood made with its soy-based formaldehyde-free adhesive on floors, walls and stairs. The product won the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Presidential Green Chemistry Award. Formaldehyde is classified as a known human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to the EPA, formaldehyde can also cause eye, nose and throat irritation as well as respiratory problems.

“These panels not only provide an attractive finish, but the fact that they are formaldehyde free is an important attribute that will help our entry compete in the ambient air quality portion of the competition,” said Mark Bridges, a graduate student at ASU and the communications manager for the project.

Learn more about Maison Reciprocity.