Solar-powered passion

Alex Ratcliff

 Civil & Environmental Engineering senior Alex Ratcliff has worked to increase solar power capacity at the University of Washington throughout his time as a student. Since joining the UW Solar student group as a freshman, Ratcliff has helped oversee new solar installations on the residence halls Maple, Alder and Elm, as well as working on solar installations for the new Life Sciences building.

Solar-powered innovation on the Life Sciences Building

Life Sciences Building solar fins

Photos by Rosemary Reyes

The new Life Sciences Building under construction next to the Burke Gilman Trail features floor-to-ceiling windows all along the south side. The windows allow the sun to naturally light the space, but that sunlight also presents a problem.

In the summer, direct sunlight would overheat the building. Instead of relying on air conditioning, the team behind the building’s design found a unique solution.

UW-Solar + Green Greek Representative Program: a shining collaboration

Two sustainability-focused groups at the University of Washington, UW-Solar and the Green Greek Representative Program, are collaborating on a project that has sunny prospects and dazzling potential. Essentially, the two groups will be working together to determine opportunities for solar power in the UW Greek Community.