UB's GRoW Home moving to North Campus as university expands climate neutrality effort

Aug 18, 2020

A solar-energy house built by University at Buffalo students is being reassembled on the school’s North Campus, as part of UB's broader renewable energy plan.

The GRoW (Garden, Relax or Work) Home was originally constructed by UB students for entry into a 2015 national competition in California. The house, designed as a single residence, placed second overall in that competition.

Pieces of the Garden, Relax or Work (GRoW) Home wait for transfer to their new location off Flint Road on the University at Buffalo's North Campus.
Credit WBFO/Michael Mroziak

It later was displayed on UB's South Campus but was recently disassembled for the purpose of transporting to the North Campus. Tuesday morning, crews could be seen working on the foundation of the house's new, permanent location off Flint Road near the Center for Tomorrow.

"It will be transformed from a single residence kind of concept into a clean energy center, where faculty, staff and the community will come together to really learn about how we can move forward and build that clean energy world that we so desperately need,” said Ryan McPherson, UB's chief sustainability officer.

The house, located adjacent to the university's existing solar strand, will serve as just one component of UB's broader renewable energy plan. By 2030, McPherson explained, the university aims to achieve full climate neutrality. This will also include an expansion of that existing solar panel network, currently 750 kilowatts.

Work crews were preparing the foundation on which the UB GRoW Home will be reassembled on the North Campus.
Credit WBFO/Michael Mroziak

"The Clean Energy Center, and our work across campus right now to increase the amount of renewable energy that we have here on campus, is one of our top priorities," hee said. "We have about 13 to 14 megawatts of new clean energy that will be going into the North Campus, to be sited on the North Campus, over the next year, and the Clean Energy Center the GRoW center will be a huge part of that as well.”

Completion of reconstruction of the GRoW Home is expected by the end of this year.