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.
The entries were judged from October 8 – October 16, and were open to the public on select dates for tours through October 18.
Department of Energy – Solar Decathlon Official Website
YouTube Showcase of Competition Entries
Posted by Courtney | Follow me on Twitter
Filed under: Energy, Good for the Planet, Green, Green Building, Green Electronics, Technology | Tagged: Building green, Department of Energy, Green Building, Solar Decathlon, Sustainable Design, Washington DC |