On October 7th, 2023, GASP staff members Perry Dowell (Climate Coordinator) and Madison Naves (Communications coordinator) had the fantastic opportunity to table the UAB Solar House Tour. The tour was an enlightening and inspiring experience. The event was a showcase of sustainable living and cutting-edge technology, and a way to see how people can come together to create a sustainable living community.
The UAB Solar House, located in Birmingham, Alabama, is a remarkable project that demonstrates the potential of solar energy and eco-friendly construction. When staff arrived they were greeted by a friendly team of student volunteers and faculty members from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). They were eager to share their knowledge and answer any questions, which created a welcoming atmosphere for visitors. Visitors included vintage clothing vendors, Animal conservationist groups such as the Alabama Wildlife Center, student-led organizations like Green Initiative at UAB, and environmental and sustainability groups like GASP and Energy Alabama.
“Energy Alabama had a table there too and it was nice to see them out there because I’ve worked with them in a few of our networks,” said Dowell.
The solar house itself was a marvel of modern design and sustainability. It featured a sleek, contemporary architecture with large windows and a minimalist aesthetic that blended beautifully with its surroundings. What truly set it apart was its solar panels, which covered the roof and even some of the walls. These panels not only generated clean, renewable energy but also demonstrated the potential for reducing carbon footprints in everyday life.
“Inside the UAB Solar House, I was impressed by the efficient use of space and innovative technology,” said Naves. The interior was bright and spacious, with an open concept layout that made the most of natural light. It was incredible to see how sustainable features could seamlessly integrate into modern living spaces.
The tour guides and students were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the project, explaining the house’s eco-friendly features, energy-saving measures, and its overall impact on sustainability. They also highlighted the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and encouraged visitors to consider renewable energy solutions for their own homes.
One of the highlights of the day was engaging with attending students, Naves mentioned. “I was glad to see some students we had collaborated with in the past at the tour as well as meet other students that were just interested in the different opportunities this field offers.”
By tabling at events like the UAB Solar House Tour, GASP is able to directly interact with upcoming game changers that are interested in stepping into the environment field in the future. “They have passion and extensive knowledge that can be utilized to make our communities even better!” Said Naves.
“I thought that the UAB Solar House Tour event was fun,” said Dowell. “ I was glad that UAB asked us to table for the event because it was a good opportunity for us to meet some people and it’s always nice to support UAB’s Sustainability Office because they support us too.”
The event was not only informative but also a testament to the power of innovation and commitment to sustainability. We highly recommend visiting the UAB Solar House if you have the chance, as it’s a glimpse into a more sustainable and eco-conscious future.