U-Md. Designed-House Wins Top Honors at Solar Decathalon

by UrbanTurf Staff

U-Md. Designed-House Wins Top Honors at Solar Decathalon: Figure 1
WaterShed house. University of Maryland.

The WaterShed house, an energy-efficient home designed by a team from the University of Maryland, took top honors at this year’s Solar Decathalon. The results were announced Saturday by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.

The Decathalon is an every-two-year contest held in DC where college students from around the globe design and build energy-efficient solar-powered houses. Each of the 19 groups in the 2011 Decathalon spent the last two years coming up with a design for what they deemed to be the most energy-efficient house possible, and those homes have been on display at West Potomac Park (map) for the last ten days. While the University of Maryland received the highest overall honors, the groups were also rated in categories including architecture, lighting design, engineering and even home entertainment.

The WaterShed home, inspired by the Chesapeake Bay, was conceived by 200 students, faculty and mentors from the University of Maryland. Among its energy-efficient and water-conserving features were:

  • A split-butterfly roof to capture sunlight and rainwater;
  • A photovoltaic array used to harvest solar energy to power the home for the year;
  • A system that recycles and filters sink and shower water to be used in wetland gardens that surround the house.

Unfortunately for those that did not get a chance to get down to West Potomac Park, the last day that the homes were on display was yesterday. The next Solar Decathalon will be held in the fall of 2013.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/u-md._designed-house_wins_top_honors_at_solar_decathalon/4268

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