Virginia Tech Wins Solar Decathlon

In an attempt to conserve the world’s energy, the U.S. Department of Energy has developed an international contest called the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.

Helping Students Capture the Power of the Sun

In the Solar Decathlon engineering students from universities across the country form teams to design and build energy-efficient homes; these homes must support a modern lifestyle using only the power of the sun.


“It’s a Smart Design”

Virginia Tech, one of the teams in the competition, placed a great deal of emphasis on the roof, literally turning it upside down. With the roof being the most prominent and distinct feature of the home, the Virginia Tech team had to find the best roof accessories on the market. Acrylife, of Wytheville, VA, was the roof membrane manufacturer, and they, along with a local specifier, recommended Metal-Era for the metal roof edge.

Joe Wheeler, Project Coordinator and Professor of Architecture at Virginia Tech, was very impressed with the product designs Metal-Era had to offer, especially that of the popular Anchor-Tite fascia. “I liked the profile, the snap-on cover and the easy installation,” said Wheeler. “It’s a smart design because the attachment doesn’t go through the membrane.” For both aesthetics and functionality, Anchor-Tite fascia was the top pick for this project.

No Experience, No Problem

Metal-Era agreed to donate 144 lineal feet of bone white Anchor-Tite fascia which, according to the Solar Decathlon rules, had to be installed by the team itself. Two engineering students, led by Brett Moss, were responsible for installing the Anchor-Tite fascia system. Although Moss and his partner had never installed a roof edge before, they were finished within a day because of the intuitive design of Anchor-Tite, the pre-punched holes in the anchor bar, and the simple, snap-on cover.

Moss enjoyed working with the product, and had no trouble installing it. “The instructions were straightforward and the installation of the Anchor-Tite was very easy,” said Moss.


The Winner’s Circle

Of the 10 contests that make up the Solar Decathlon, Virginia Tech won 1st place in two: Architecture and Dwelling. The Architecture contest is the most coveted because double points are awarded to the winner. In order to win this contest, the Virginia Tech team needed everything to be beautiful, functional, and strong -- and the roof edge was no exception.

How We Did It