Penn State’s solar home open for public tours


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The MorningStar, an 800-square-foot solar house was which was designed and constructed by Penn State students and faculty, is now open on Penn State’s University Park campus and ready to serve one of its core purposes, public education.

(Take a virtual tour.)

Raise awareness. The MorningStar is in front of the Centre County Visitor’s Center, where it will serve the university as a laboratory to develop a better understanding of the best technologies and systems for the Pennsylvania climate; and as a center for green outreach, where students can receive training to give public tours and raise awareness about energy-efficient building and living.

“The MorningStar house was conceived because of the need to show people in a tangible way the possibilities for home energy now and in the future,” explained David Riley, director of Penn State’s Center for Sustainability.

“Since we knew we were going to show it off, the house is packed with demonstration concepts and technologies.”

The house will be open for dro-in tours from 1-4 p.m. on Sundays.

Design of the home was based on a concept developed through the university’s American Indian Housing Initiative, which has produced a dozen sustainable buildings on tribal reservations over the last decade.

Ultimately the MorningStar will move to the Center for Sustainability’s nine-acre site on Porter Road, where it will continue to serve as a research and outreach center.

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