PEAK solar houseThe house built by the team from West Virginia University for its first-ever entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon has found a new home. The University has donated the Preserving Energy with Appalachian Knowledge house to the West Virginia Botanic Garden, located in Morgantown.

The house was recently moved from its current location on WVU’s Evansdale Campus to the Garden, where it will be used for office space, group meeting space and displays.

“The West Virginia Botanic Garden will be an ideal permanent location for the house,” said Brian Woerner, chair of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at WVU. “The Garden has a mission to promote the best use of natural resources, and the historical significance and natural beauty of state. The PEAK house fits perfectly with that mission.”

“This is the realization of a long-recognized need for a building on site,” explained Bill Johnson, president of the West Virginia Botanic Garden board of directors. “WVU’s donation of the PEAK House, combined with financial support from friends of the Garden, components makes this possible.”

The team from WVU built the house for the 2013 Solar Decathlon, which brings together students from around the world to design and build an ultra-efficient, solar energy sustainable and livable house. The PEAK house was the first log-style home to be accepted to the Decathlon, representing WVU’s roots in Appalachia. Its design earned the team top honors in the category for Integration of Nature and Technology.

“In support of our mission, we strive to develop and manage the garden in a sustainable and ecologically responsible manner. The ‘green’ design of the building is a perfect fit with this philosophy, and demonstrates the Garden’s commitment to these principles,” said Johnson.

Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, students and professors will use the house while it is on the Botanic Garden grounds to study the use of nanotechnology and to develop healthy and sustainable indoor living environments.

“The house will be used for regular measurements of efficiency of power generation and use from the solar panels over the next several years,” said Woerner. “The Solar Decathlon provided a unique educational experience that fulfilled the senior design requirements for a significant number of students. The donation of the house assures that the work of WVU students will be enjoyed by visitors to the Garden for many years to come.”

The Botanic Garden is located at 1061 Tyrone Road, and is open daily, free of charge, from dawn to dusk. For more information, visit