2009 Solar Decathalon Lights Up Washington, D.C.

With all of the big media outlets stationed in our nation’s capital day in and day out, you’d think they wouldn’t miss a beat when something extraordinary happens.  Especially when that something is happening right on the National Mall (which, according to the National Park Service, receives 24 million visitors per year).   From October 8-18, 20 teams of university [student and faculty] architects and engineers had convened on the Mall to compete in a program sponsored by the Department of Energy, showcasing projects which took 2 years to complete.  The contestants submitted their proposals and designs 2 years ago, and of the 40 initial entries, 20 were selected for this years’ competition.  Each of the contest entries were designed and built in the home state of the design teams.  A week before the start of the competition, the homes were sent to Washington, D.C. where they were reconstructed on the National Mall.

These projects are state-of-the-art homes (up to 800 sq. ft.), which are self-sustaining, energy efficient and eco-friendly.  During the competition, the homes were judged on 10 criteria, including architecture, engineering, lighting and home entertainment.  Wait, “home entertainment”?  According to the official website, during the competition each team hosted 2 dinner parties at their home.  During the dinner party, they were awarded points based on the quality of the meal, lighting in the home and the overall experience.  Additionally,  the teams were required to host a “movie night” for their guests with judging based on the quality and design of their home theater system, and the guests’ overall experience.  If that isn’t enough,  the teams were also required to operate certain electronic appliances (TVs, computers) during specific time periods, as well as keeping the home lit during specified hours.

This year, Team Germany won the competition, with their cube-shaped design which was almost completely covered in solar panels.  Team Illinois came in second, and Team California came in third.

The entries were judged from October 8 – October 16,  and were open to the public on select dates for tours through October 18.

Links:

Department of Energy – Solar Decathlon Official Website

YouTube Showcase of Competition Entries

Posted by Courtney | Follow me on Twitter

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2 Responses

  1. El Gobierno Español y la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, patrocinador principal con más de 6 millones de Euros, y organizador respectivamente del Solar Decathlon 2010, han eliminado de las veinte participantes que se darán cita en Madrid durante mayo de 2010, a la Universidad israelí de Ariel Santa María, alegando motivos políticos, debido a que dicha universidad está dentro de los territorios ocupados en la frontera de Gaza.
    Resulta altamente sospechoso el hecho de que el Gobierno de España tenga una consideración tan sesgada de la ocupación de Palestina por Israel y de cabida en la misma competición a la participación de la Una universidad China, país en el cual no se respetan para nada los derechos humanos y donde las personas son sometidas grandes aberraciones.
    Se trata de un concurso en el cual se juzga, la arquitectura, la ingeniería, en definitiva la apuesta por las nuevas tecnologías, la eficiencia energética, el reciclaje de nuevos materiales y no precisamente los posicionamientos políticos de los países de la Universidades participantes. ¿Qué culpa tiene la universidad, y menos los universitarios de sus regímenes políticos?
    Y para colmo del caso, según la prensa, la ministra ha inaugurado el Solar Decathlon 2009 que se está celebrando en los EEUU, y por lo que podemos leer no hace mención alguna a los chicos de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid que están concursando, y todo ello por el Solar Decathlon 2010, concurso del cual han eludido por cuestiones políticas a la Universidad de Ariel, universidad que podría haber aportado muchas novedades en cuanto e sistemas solares y sistema de aguas.
    ¿Realmente sería interesante que el Gobierno diese una explicación oportuna al respecto, y estudiara la posibilidad de no entrar en un escándalo político con Israel?

  2. I just love reading this blogs & articles. It is very interesting.

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