Blog Archives

It is all about the UB Pride!

UB GRoW Home's Operations and Disassembly team!

UB GRoW Home’s Operations and Disassembly team!

If you haven’t heard, we were placed 2nd overall! Kudos to EVERY single person who made this possible! And we mean, EVERY SINGLE PERSON. Thank you so much 🙂

Here’s a summary of the beautiful trophies we cautiously brought back to Buffalo from California.





  • We finished at 2nd place with 941.191 points out of a possible 1,000. Stevens Institute of Technology, hailing from Hoboken, New Jersey, took first place with 950.685
  • 3rd in Communications – one of four juried competitions held as part of the 10-category event
  • For measured contest categories (non-juried), 1st place in Comfort Zone (95.719 out of 100 points), tied 1st place for Commuting (100 out of 100), tied 1st place for Energy Balance (100 out of 100), and 2nd place for Appliances (99.523 out of 100)

During those ten days of the competition, the scores were updated so often we could not keep our fingers away from the Refresh button and our eyes of the screen. We were crazzzyyy! Especially for those who were looking out for the team back in Buffalo, we felt nothing but excitement and anxiety. A good example would be Nick Rajkovich, one of our amazing faculty advisors from the School of Architecture and Planning. Check out his tweets below:

Screenshot of Nick's tweets

Awwww, Nick 😀 (I secretly hope you are not reading this.)

Basically, that’s how most of us were feeling. Every single day for those ten days. Along the way, the results of juried and measured contests were revealed. Finally, on the last day of the competition, the results of the last juried contest, Engineering, was revealed, and it was definitely a huge deciding factor. Learn more at

Prize giving ceremony in Irvine

At the Prize Giving Ceremony, Orange County Great Park.

Prize giving ceremony in Irvine

At the Prize Giving Ceremony, Orange County Great Park.

After the prize ceremony, it was the final weekend that the Solar Decathlon village was opened to the public. The Operations team was all pumped up for public tours. Thank you to those who came up to us and shared words of encouragement, congratulations and appreciation. We truly appreciate you too!

Following this, the GRoW Home was handed over to the Disassembly team for deconstruction, and loading everything back onto three trucks that made their 5-days road trip back to Buffalo!

Disassembly team at Orange County Great Park

Disassembly team at Orange County Great Park. More pictures at

Our awesome drivers, Art, Dan and Eric.

Our awesome drivers, Art, Dan and Eric. More pictures at

The trucks

The trucks. View more pictures at

We would not have reached this stage without the support, patience, faith and generosity of UB, UB staff, our professors, our sponsors, family members and friends. Thank you!!! 🙂

It has been a meaningful journey, and will continue to be one that enriches our learning experience, and be etched in our memories for a long long time!

Written by Zhi Ting Phua, member of the Communications and Disassembly team.

Visit us at the Orange County Great Park!

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition has officially opened its doors to the public! Visit us today to learn more about our house; from our custom-built furniture to photovoltaic and mechanical systems.

The competition takes place Oct. 8–18, 2015, at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The Solar Decathlon competition houses will be open to visitors from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily on eight days over two weekends:

  • Thursday, Oct. 8–Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015
  • Thursday, Oct. 15–Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015.

The remaining dates, the Solar Decathlon village will be closed for competition activities.

The GRoW Home is No.204, and an easy way to locate us among other beautiful houses would be to look out for our iconic canopy!

UB GRoW Home in Irvine, CA. No.204

If you are unable to come down personally, do stay tune for frequent updates on all social media platforms! Feel free to share your thoughts, feedback and encouragement along the way! Last but not least, please vote for us at for the FanFavorite segment of the Solar Decathlon 2015. Thank you~

For more information, check out or download a visitor’s guide here.


It is all about the UB Pride!

UB GRoW Home’s Operations and …

GRoW Home's GRoWlarium

Have you cast your vote yet?

As the Solar Decathlon 2015 co …

GRoW Home and Sunset

Visit us at the Orange County Great Park!

The U.S. Department of Energy …

GRoW Home on Buffalo Spree

GRoW on Buffalo Spree

So, guess what?! The GRoW Home …

An image of a cozy corner in Howe

GRoW & Spot the Difference: Set A

If you have been following our …

Jenna Bow teaching kids and an adult how to fold paper cups.

Solar Jam at Massachusetts Avenue Park

Over the weekend (July 11, 201 …

An image of Taras' garden at home

A Green Situation at Taras’ Backyard

It’s finally Summer in Buffalo …

Cosy corner in Walter and Nan's home

The Simpson’s Solar Abode

This month, the GRoW team made …

Spring 2015 COM466 students at the Warehouse

An Eye Opening Experience

The Spring 2015 COM466 class. …

GRoW team posing with the booth during Earth Week

Earth Week with GRoW

Earth week April 18th-25th 201 …

Amanda making reference to informational boards

Celebration of Undergraduate Excellence

The 11th CURCA event April 16t …

The Grow Team appears on AM Buffalo

GRoW under the spotlight on WKBW AM Buffalo show

Linda Pellegrino, host of WKBW …

GRoW enjoys a successful happy hour at Studio 464

The buffalo community continue …


Graphic map of donations earned

We invite you to consider supporting the GRoW Home — a unique initiative that will promote research, education, and awareness of environmentally sustainable design, while generating significant international exposure. Click here to show your support today! We are looking for:

  • Material Donation: From furniture to plumbing, we appreciate any kind of material donation that complements the GRoW Home.
  • Monetary Support: From transportation costs to purchasing our own materials, any amount of donation contributes significantly to the project.GRoW Team members working at construction site
  • Professional Mentoring: By donating your time and knowledge as a professional, you provide students with invaluable learning experiences. We are eager to learn in many different areas such as cost-estimation and construction.

If you are an individual and would like to support us today, click here!

If you represent a company or organization, email us today at

Led by the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Architecture and GRoW Home members at a meeting in Howe Hall, UBPlanning in collaboration with the university’s Schools of Engineering and Management and the College of Arts and Sciences, a team of UB students and professors has been selected to compete in an elite international event — the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015.

The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses. Since 2002, six solar decathlons have taken place in the US, involving 29,000 students from 33 countries and attracting tens of thousands of visitors at each event.A GRoW Home member interacting with members of the public at Fall Festival at Reinstein Woods

The competition spans a two-year process, and is highly selective.

UB’s team will have the opportunity to design and build a solar-powered house and have its performance judged against 16 other teams! Find out more about the competition here.

The competition supports Collaborative Learning and Innovation.

The GRoW Home project provides students with irreplaceable learning experiences. Solar Decathlon director Richard King notes that this Jenna Bow teaching kids and an adult how to fold paper cups.competition can be “life-changing” for participating students, developing “leadership, team spirit, and problem-solving skills that help decathletes excel once they enter the workforce.”

This project creates a Community Impact.

The GRoW Home will be built in Western New York, shipped to California for judging, and then returned to Buffalo for installation in the community. Ultimately, organizers hope the GRoW Home will become a valuable resource, and will be open for tours that educate and inspire school children and the public about the benefits of sustainable, low-energy design.Congressman Chris Collins (U.S. House of Representatives, NY 27th District) and Omar Khan (Architecture Department Chair) at a fundraising salon at the warehouse

This project opens up Partnership Opportunities. 

This effort provides a timely opportunity to forge new connections, as contributors assist students by providing resources and expertise. The U.S. Department of Energy is supplying seed funding, and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is collaborating on the design of the house’s site. Materials and mentorship are being provided by a variety of corporate donors, with support pledged thus far by LPCiminelli, Montante Solar, and Watts Architecture & Engineering.