Virginia Tech students use 100-ton crane for world's smartest home

Virginia Tech team to represent U.S. for Solar Decathlon Middle East in Dubai

BLACKSBURG, Va. – With the help of a 100-ton crane, a dozen students at Virginia Tech are making progress on what they hope to be the smartest solar home in the world.

The research prototype is completely powered by the sun, loaded with responsive technology and adaptable to the world's climates, environments and budgets.

“It allows you to save money. It allows you to save energy, It also allows you to live a more comfortable lifestyle,” visiting instructor Bobby Vance, of Virginia Tech College of Architecture, said.

For the first time, students, including Michelle Le, are putting together all the components, including the walls, roof and solar panels.

“We're actually moving it out of the warehouse right now. That's going to be where we're testing appliances, solar panels and everything like that,” Le said.

In November, the Virginia Tech team will compete in Dubai as the only representatives from the U.S. in the Solar Decathlon Middle East, an international collegiate competition to build the world's smartest solar home.

The 12 students will be among 22 global teams to present their prototypes for the world's best net-positive energy solar home.