June 10, 2011

PolyHouse 2011

PolyHouse 2011 wrapped up in May with the "extreme makeover" of the home of a family with a disabled teenager. 

PolyHouse 2011 Each spring Cal Poly's industrial and manufacturing engineering project management class completes a home renovation service project to help a local family or individual struggling with issues related to disabilities.

This year, the PolyHouse team has transformed the Shandon home of 15-year-old Jacob Slattery and his parents. Born with a severe form of spina bifida, Jacob has paralysis from mid-chest down and has been confined to a wheelchair since the age of two. The goal of the PolyHouse team was to improve the safety and comfort of Jacob's home and to encourage his future independence.

The 38 students who participated in the dramatic six-day makeover represent a wide variety of majors: industrial engineering, engineering management, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, business and agriculture. The class spent six weeks planning the project, with actual construction spanning two weekends: May 13-15 and May 20-22.

As in the past, the outpouring of community support has been one of the hallmarks of the project. An estimated $100,000 was donated in the form of cash, building materials and related assistance.

First PolyHouse to go solar

This year's PolyHouse boasted the annual project's first solar system. 

REC Solar has donated an nine-panel system to the PolyHouse project, allowing the Slattery family to derive much of their electric needs from the two-kilowatt, rooftop-mounted array.

"REC Solar is moved by how this innovative student project creates a community of shared purpose to help a family in need," said Karn Mofid, president of REC Solar. "PolyHouse is a community-building and life-changing endeavor for all involved. It literally ‘brings home' the message of sustainability on every level. We are honored to contribute the first solar installation to this remarkable program."


See the College of Engineering YouTube Channel  for more videos of PolyHouse 
Picture of Phaidra Rice
Civil Engineering
“Cal Poly's Engineers Without Borders has literally opened up a new world for me.

As EWB president, I had a chance to work on projects in Thailand and Indonesia. These projects really make a difference in people's lives -- I'm inspired to continue this work after college.