Solar House, ODU & Hampton in NCAA Basketball Tournment
TEAM TIDEWATER'S SOLAR DECATHLON HOUSE TO BE BUILT ON CAMPUS
By Brendan O'Hallarn
For two years, the team members for the joint Old Dominion University/Hampton University
entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon toiled away quietly, meeting in on-campus offices, doing work
at their makeshift design studio in a house near the ODU campus.
But their project, which has challenged them to design, build and operate the most affordable,
attractive, effective and energy-efficient solar-powered house, will soon be out in the open –
On Friday, a concrete foundation was poured on an ODU campus site across from the Student
Recreation Center on 48th Street. That's where the Team Tidewater entry, known as Unit 6
Unplugged, will actually take shape.
"This is a very exciting milestone signifying the beginning of construction of Unit 6 for the Solar
Decathlon competition. Students are going to see things happening on campus," said Mujde
Erten-Unal, faculty adviser for the Solar Decathlon team and associate professor of civil and
environmental engineering in ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology.
The other faculty members working on the project are Stella Bondi, ODU assistant professor of
civil engineering technology, and HU architecture professors Mason Andrews and David
The union of ODU's engineering school and the architecture school from Hampton came about
two years ago, with the goal of entering the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) competition,
which attracts teams from around the globe.
The ODU/HU team was selected as one of 20 finalists, along with college and university teams
from Belgium, China and across North America.
This collaboration between engineers and architects has led to some fascinating learning
opportunities for every student on the Solar Decathlon team, said Team Tidewater director John
Whitelaw, a doctoral student in environmental engineering at ODU.
Now, after working many a late night, the team members are celebrating the actual construction
of what they've been planning for two years.
"This moment, as we pour concrete for the temporary foundations for Unit 6, is when everything
becomes real," Whitelaw said. "We've been working away at the design and setting up the
logistics for months; now we finally start building the house. There are many more hurdles to get
over in the months to come, but this marks the beginning of the construction phase and the final
push toward the competition."
There's lots of work to do between now and the fall. After the frame for the home is constructed
at another site, it will arrive on the ODU campus in late April, where Team Tidewater members
will work on making the house as energy efficient as possible. Then, early in the fall semester, it
will be disassembled, and driven in pieces to Washington, D.C., where it will be reassembled on
the Solar Decathlon competition site. During the weeklong event (Sept. 23 to Oct. 2), which will
see some team members actually stay in the home, thousands of tourists, architects and engineers
will visit Unit 6 Unplugged, along with a panel of experts, who will judge all of the homes in 10
categories (hence the name "Solar Decathlon").
Unit 6 Unplugged is envisioned as part of a six-unit, multifamily infill building for a central-city
site, with energy efficiency features such as a deep, shaded balcony that incorporates operable
windows so it can be converted into a sun space in cold weather; super-tight insulation; and solar
thermal and electric power collection systems.
Whitelaw said Team Tidewater, representing an urban area, specifically wanted to create an
urban, high-density design, as opposed to a detached, single-family dwelling.
"The Decathlon is all about conserving energy and sustainability, and multifamily housing is a
more efficient and sustainable approach that reduces travel energy, saves heating and cooling
costs, promotes community and minimizes suburban encroachment on farmland. Being selected
as finalists allows us to make our case for sustainable design to America and the world, and will
put our two universities on center stage in this emergent field," Whitelaw said.
While much work on the project has been done, more work is ahead as the deadline approaches.
Team Tidewater still needs ODU and HU students with experience in electrical engineering,
marketing, communications, graphic design, photography and video, and Web development.
Interested students should contact Team Tidewater at email@example.com
ODU TO PLAY FORMER FOE BUTLER IN NCAA TOURNAMENT THURSDAY
By Brendan O'Hallarn
Four years later, it's payback time.
Old Dominion University will play the Butler Bulldogs Thursday in its first 2011 NCAA
tournament game. A capacity crowd filled the North Cafeteria in Webb Center Sunday night to
watch the tournament selection show on CBS.
For the second year in a row, ODU was one of the last teams announced. Unlike last year's 11
seed, however, the Monarchs received a nine seed in this year's tournament. The reward: a game
in Washington, D.C., against last year's finalist, Butler, the same team that defeated the
Monarchs in the first round of the 2007 NCAA tournament in Buffalo, N.Y.
The crowd roared its approval when the announcement was made. Coach Blaine Taylor grabbed
the microphone at the end of the show and summed up the feelings of Monarch Nation.
"This is just the start of the road," Taylor said, eliciting a big cheer. "The only thing I wanted was
location. We got location.
"They say of your regular season, 'The schedule is what you make of it.' It's the same in the
tournament. We're going to make something out of this."
Thousands of Monarch fans are expected to make the trip to the Verizon Center for Thursday's
game, which is scheduled to tip off at 12:40 p.m. "During our championship game in the CAA
tournament, I turned to one of our assistants and said, 'They've got more fans than we do, but
ours are louder,'" Taylor said.
ODU President John R. Broderick marveled at the crowd that showed up at Webb Center on the
nicest Sunday afternoon of the winter. Broderick has been at ODU since 1993. "I've never seen
this level of enthusiasm with the basketball team. This is pretty unprecedented," he said.
The crowd started filtering into Webb Center well before the official 5 p.m. start of the party. As
the players showed up, many of them early arrivers themselves, they were mobbed by autograph-
and picture-seeking fans, plus Monarch supporters who simply wanted to say thanks and
Trian Iliadis said he hadn't given a thought to whom ODU might play in the tournament. "It's
great that we took care of business last week (winning a tournament berth in the CAA
tournament) so we didn't have to worry about it."
The players sat in a row across the front of the room, as fans filled every seat behind them, many
wearing the glow-in-the-dark ODU buttons distributed during the CAA tournament. Cal
Bowdler, former Monarch great and current team radio color analyst, was a sophomore on the
1997 team that won the CAA tournament.
"For us, we didn't have the luxury that this team had, knowing we probably would have made the
tournament without winning the CAA tournament. But once we did win the auto bid, it was
exciting to sit back and wait for Selection Sunday," Bowdler said.
There was excitement surrounding this year's Selection Sunday because of the likelihood the
CAA could receive two or even three bids. Conference rival George Mason was one of the first
teams announced, being sent to Cleveland as an eight seed, where the Patriots will take on
Then a big cheer filled the room when Virginia Commonwealth, perhaps surprisingly, was
selected to play in one of two first-round games in Dayton, as one of the final four
nonconference-winning teams. The Rams will take on the University of Southern California on
ODU fans can call 3-4444 for ticket information. Ticket applications will be accepted until 5
p.m. Monday, March 14.
Hampton to play top-seeded Duke in NCAA tourney
Hampton will try to make history — again — in the NCAA tournament.
The Pirates (24-8), champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament, are a No. 16
seed and will play top-seeded Duke Friday in the second round in Charlotte, N.C.
Top-seeded teams have never lost in 104 games in NCAA tournament history.
The Pirates' tournament title put them in the field for the fourth time, and first in five years. In
2001, the Pirates won as a No. 15 seed, stunning Iowa State 58-57. They are one of just four
teams seeded 15th to win in the tournament.
The Blue Devils (30-4) are the defending national champions and won their Atlantic Coaast
Conference tournament for the 10th time in the last 13 years on Sunday.