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OSU Solar House Begins New Construction Phase

Aug. 4, 2009

Ohio State University's solar house, under construction near Ohio Stadium, moves a step closer to completion this week as workers install a new, bright pink fiberglass insulation and air sealing system from Ohio-based Owens Corning.
The EnergyCompleteTM with Flexible Seal Technology system, which was introduced to the public July 30, will be a critical feature of Ohio State’s entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.
Ohio State is a newcomer to the Solar Decathlon, in which 20 teams of students are competing to design and build the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house.
“This is a fun thing to go and do. The house is pushing the envelope in science and engineering,” said John Hillenbrand, vice president and chief innovation officer of Owens Corning, a global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems. “The only entry from Ohio was Ohio State, so we felt that we should show allegiance and support to the project.”
The insulation system, installed in the interior of the house, reduces air leakage and delivers exceptional thermal performance to reduce home energy use.
“Buildings consume 40 percent of the country's energy resources, which is more than transportation or industry,” said Hillenbrand.
The EnergyComplete System uses a new foam-based sealant to reduce the leakage, addressing the energy loss, and PINK FIBERGLAS™ insulation to deliver the thermal performance. The system, which is both safe and affordable, can save homeowners up to one-third on heating and cooling costs, according to Owens Corning.
Owens Corning is committed to driving sustainability and has a long history with Ohio State; numerous employees are graduates and fans of the university, Hillenbrand said.
Students have been working all summer on the house, which now has rough plumbing and electric, windows and barn siding for the exterior.
“The insulation is the most important energy saver,” said Lucas Dixon, a recent graduate in political science and a member of the grant writing team for the project. “It’s the foundation for everything. Working with Owens Corning has been great because it was our goal to use as many Ohio companies as possible.”
Ohio State’s team is comprised of about 60 students from nine different majors. Once the house is completed, it will be taken apart and reconstructed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the contest, which takes place Oct. 9-18.

For more information about the Solar Decathlon, visit More details about Ohio State’s team are available online at