Home for Life: Health

The 2007 Texas A&M Solar Decathlon, a "Home for Life," examines the Life Cycle Balancing of resources used on site in terms of energy, water, and food. These cycles are tracked and examined throughout all aspects of the building. Special care was taken with the building to ensure the achievement of a healthy carbon balance, which is an integral part of sustainable design. With the use of healthy materials, such as various woods native to Texas, the amount of carbon produced is offset by the manufacturing of its steel elements. A bat tower was built and installed on the exterior of the building to serve as integrated pest management and as a water fertilization method. Bats live off of mosquitoes that contribute to West Nile Virus, a major problem in Central Texas. The bat guano that is collected inside the tower is used as fertilizer for the landscape, taking the place of chemicals, and re-establishing a nature-based connection to the life cycle of food.