A team of faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students spanning four colleges — the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, the College of Engineering, the Pamplin College of Business, and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences — created Virginia Tech's Lumenhaus. The solar house won a 2012 AIA Honor Award for Architecture and the international Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid, Spain, in the summer of 2010.
At the Solar Decathlon, the house was inspected in different categories each day. The solar house -- designed and originally constructed on the Blacksburg campus -- was declared the most efficient structure in the decathlon.
During the competition, 17 solar houses from seven countries on three continents were judged in 10 different categories. Virginia Tech's Lumenhaus placed in almost all the categories, including tying for first in Architecture, placing second in Communication and Social Awareness, and placing third in both Industrialization and Market Viability and in Lighting.