From the very beginning of the 10-day competition, the University of Maryland — not the school's first decathlon showing,
btw — emerged as a formidable contender. One of the more handsome homes in the solar village, the greywater-recycling, butterfly-roofed WaterShed scored first in the Architecture
contest and received high marks in the other juried and measured contests including second place in both Appliances
and Market Appeal.
In fact, the only contest that WaterShed didn’t place within the top five was in the Affordability
contest. It came in 12th.
I had the chance to visit (and bestow some very special honors
) to the Solar Decathlon homes in D.C.’s West Potomac Park prior to the event’s opening ceremony and two of my favorite homes from the sneak-peek, Victoria University of Wellington’s Kiwi stunner, First Light
, and Middlebury College’s beautiful and barn-inspired Self-Reliance
that kitchen) came in third (919 points) and fourth (914 points) places, respectively. Since last checking in
with the official standings
on Thursday, Middlebury College won both the Communications
and Market Appeal contests while New Zealand, first-placer in the Engineering
contest, tied with 6 others teams for first in the Energy Balance
After scoring consistently well throughout the competition, Indiana's Purdue University took second place overall (931 points) for INhome
, a comfortable and safe-looking abode complete an attached garage that would fit right in any Midwestern subdivision. The second-place winner in the Affordability contest, INhome may have been less architecturally adventurous compared to some of its more flashy neighbors in the solar village like sixth-placer CHIP
from Caltech and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. If anything, Purdue proved that deep green housing can also come in more “normal” — and affordable — packages. And on the topic of affordable, Team Parsons/Milano/Stevens’ Empowerhouse
, a home built as a real-life Habitat For Humanity
project under stringent Passive House
standards for under $250,000 came in 13th place over all.
Announced this evening was the winner of the People’s Choice Award
: Solar Homestead
from Appalachian State University. Another one of my personal favorites, the innovative, outbuilding module (OM)-centric Solar Homestead came in 12th place overall, trailing behind Florida International’s perFORM[D]ance House
with 832 points. I can see why North Carolina's Appalachian State took home the PCA (and second place in the Communications contest) for Solar Homestead ... the team was a hoot and their spirit was infectious. Big beards
, big energy, tiny mirrorized folding hats, and lots and lots of hay. I'd love to see 'em return for the 2013 decathlon.
A huge congratulations to all of the teams that traveled from near and really
far and persevered through rain, a bit of solar-related scandal
, and some serious pre-competition location
drama to participate in the 2011 Solar Decathlon. I’m already excited for 2013’s big event (and curious as to where it’s new venue will be). And don’t forget, the second annual Solar Decathlon Europe
will take place in Madrid, Spain, in 2012. I would love to be able to get myself on a plane and check it out myself although I should probably get around to renewing my passport first ….
Did you have a chance to visit the 2011 Solar Decathlon? What home resonated the most with you? Which one could you see yourself living in?