Solar Decathlon Just Weeks Away

CA Decathlon09 Solar Decathlon Just Weeks Away

Attention, solar home aficionados! The Department of Energy-sponsored Solar Decathlonis mere weeks away, beginning October 8th on the Mall in Washington,DC. If you’re not familiar with it, the Solar Decathlon is a designcompetition for teams of university students world-wide. Eachcompetition cycle is two years: in the first year, teams submit theirinitial ideas for a solar-powered home (net-zero energy consumption isthe goal, though not the mandate). Of the applicants, 20 are selectedto actually build their homes in the second year and transport themwhole to Washington for a three-week showcase and contest.

When we attended the Decathlon in 2007,we were so impressed with the range of creativity, professional design,and clever incorporation of solar into these small (800 square footmax) homes. This year, the line-up looks even more exciting. You canview each team’s design and hear their statements of purpose on theDecathlon website, or, for an easy glance-over, check out one of ourfavorite green design blog’s aggregate of the homes.

Last year, a team from Germany won with their solar-panel-louvred,retractable-floor modern beauty; this year, will a domestic team winthe day? Stay tuned.

Image: California Solar Home: University of Santa Clara’s Solar Decathlon Entry, 2009