Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.45
Liaison Bambi Ingram
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alabama at Birmingham
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Abigail Franks
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
UAB Solar House and Microgrid

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
UAB’s Urban Multisource Microgrid is the first neighborhood of its kind in Alabama and the only living lab of its kind at a college or university in the region. The site houses UAB’s Solar Decathlon 2017 house and several 200-square-foot homes recovered from another site on campus, to be repurposed and renovated for small-scale net-zero housing. The Sustainable Microgrid Demonstration Site applies a whole-systems design approach to transform the community into an energy-independent island that presents the smallest ecological footprint possible. The block features an orchard, a community garden, and functioning solar, wind, and other renewable-sourced installations that powers the microgrid — the neighborhood provides all of its own energy and will not be connected to the electric utility. The site is studied and managed by student and faculty researchers, who conducts tours, collect data, and maintain the living spaces and gardens. UAB Engineering and UAB Sustainability will establish an RFP system for proposals open to all disciplines for conducting renewable energy and other types of research at the site to keep technology current. UAB Sustainability coordinates community outreach, education and engagement strategies for a broad audience, including events and individual and group tours. UAB Sustainability will build a thorough educational component aimed at addressing multiple audiences: school-aged children, homeowners, corporate, construction, the energy industry, and other professionals. The program is aimed at highlighting the benefits of microgrids, including varieties and aspects of renewable energy generation, carbon emission reduction, principles of minimizing our ecological footprint, and holistic practices that contribute to sustainable living. Visiting groups can tour the Solar Decathlon home, micro-homes, the microgrid, and the adjacent gardens, orchard, and water harvesting and composting systems. The UAB Solar House and Microgrid project is partnered with the UAB Center for Community Outreach Development; Corey Shum, Immersive Experience Laboratories; and Vulcan Park and Museum. Through these partnerships, the Solar House and Microgrid open its doors to educational tours, STEM electricity courses for all ages, and hands-on science experiences.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.