Solar Decathlon

I apologize for the lapse in posts as of late.  I was actually in Washington D.C. for the 2011 Solar Decathlon Competition supporting The Ohio State University’s entry.  We had a great run in the competition, doing extremely well in many categories and finished the competition in 5th place out of 19 teams.  For those of you unfamiliar with the competition, here is a brief description from the Department of Energy:

“The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition has since occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, and 2009. The next event will take place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23–Oct. 2, 2011. Open to the public free of charge, visitors can tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today.”

Our team consisted primarily of architecture, engineering, and construction systems management students.  Here are a few images to give you a sense of Ohio State’s entry into the competition:

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Check out the Ohio State enCORE website for a full rundown on the house’s concept and lot’s of other great information and photos:

The Solar Decathlon is such a great experience and an awesome event to attend.  I highly recommend you go if you ever have the chance.  It’s wonderful to see the diversity in the projects and to see so many young people from around the world committed to such great design work, but with a sensibility to our impact on the planet.  I was blown away by many of the entries and equally as inspired.  Following an event like the Solar Decathlon, the ideas just start flowing.

So, stayed tuned for the next post and I will share some of my favorite moments from the other homes in the competition and also some of the highlights of my time in D.C. and New York City.


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