Green Homes

Building for the future, today – combining the best of historical wisdom and modern technology.

It’s Almost Time for the 2009 Solar Decathlon

9/21/2009 11:17:58 AM

Tags: solar, Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon Urbana 

On the morning of Oct. 1, 2009, 20 student teams from universities across the United States and around the world will crowd onto the lawn of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. They will work around the clock for seven days, compete in 10 contests, and, on the ninth day, guide curious tourists and locals through the results of an endeavor the students have been living for the past two years.

It is the fourth, biyearly Solar Decathlon, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Student teams apply and prepare at least two years in advance, meticulously constructing their solar-powered homes at their sponsoring universities, then disassembling them, transporting them to D.C. and reassembling them on the National Mall, where they will be judged in the following 10 categories: 

1. Architecture
2. Market Viability
3. Engineering
4. Lighting Design
5. Communications
6. Comfort Zone
7. Hot Water
8. Appliances
9. Home Entertainment
10. Net Metering 

In a recent webinar providing information about the upcoming event and requesting volunteers, Director Richard King shared his enthusiasm about the decathlon, and pointed out that the original motivation for the project was a need to integrate aesthetics with reliable technology. The DOE reached out to architectural universities to develop this possibility. The result is a temporary village consisting of beautiful, structurally sound, energy-efficient homes.  

But the vision doesn’t dim when the houses are disassembled on Oct. 21. King noted that the buildings are always placed in a permanent location after the competition, with many being housed on their sponsoring campuses as educational facilities. 

The University of Darmstadt, Germany took first place in 2007, with a deceptively box-like structure discovered to be enclosed with tri-fold, floor-to-ceiling doors. It was followed by the University of Maryland in second place, and Santa Clara University in third. 

This year, eight teams will return from 2007 and one from 2005. They will be joined by 11 new teams. We’ll be keeping you updated as the teams reach D.C., begin assembly and are judged on the overall quality of their solar-powered homes.

 


Pictured above: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2007 Solar Decathlon house. Photo by DOE/NREL/JIM TETRO
 

 



Related Content

Energy Star Sets Criteria for Dishwashers

Check out how millions of gallons of water can be saved by Aug. 11, 2009!

Update on Conservation Reserve Program Opt-outs

Decision from the USDA: Farmers won't be allowed to break their CRP contract without penalty.

Moving Into the Construction Phase

This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our tran...

Solar Decathlon 2009 Update: The Houses Leave Home

The Solar Decathletes begin assembly on the National Mall at midnight, Oct. 1. But just getting the ...

Content Tools
RSS




Post a comment below.

 

MY COMMUNITY






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.