GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Picture icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
2011 Solar Decathlon

2011 Solar Decathlon is in the Home Stretch

Winners will be announced October 1st at 2:00 pm

Image 1 of 4

Purdue's entry was perhaps the contest's most conventional-looking home. The students decided early on that they wanted a house that most Midwesterners would feel comfortable having in their neighborhood.

 


Image Credit: Patrick McCombe

Purdue's entry was perhaps the contest's most conventional-looking home. The students decided early on that they wanted a house that most Midwesterners would feel comfortable having in their neighborhood.

 


Image Credit: Patrick McCombe

Homes in the Solar Decathlon are small, so flexible use of living space is a must. Here, a pair of Chinese students are demonstrating their home's movable wall system. They were so polite that they kept moving out of the way when I'd put the camera to my eye. I finally had to tell them I wanted them in the shot.


Image Credit: Patrick McCombe

Canada's entry is inspired by the traditional form used by Canada's native populations who feel a house with hard corners and a squarish shape harbors bad energy. The house did feel very cozy inside.


Image Credit: Patrick McCombe

Taking inspiration from the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Maryland's house has a constructed wetland to purify gray water used for irrigation. Looking out the shower window onto the greenery felt sublime.


Image Credit: Patrick McCombe

After being in the construction business in one form or another for more than 20 years, I often feel jaded by our lack of progress in building long-lasting, energy-efficient homes despite decades of trying. Well, my trip last week to the 2011 Solar Decathlon has given me renewed hope. The young people who designed and built the 19 homes in the event had more smarts and enthusiasm than I could ever have anticipated. And they made really nice houses, too. Even the designs and features I was skeptical of proved thought-provoking and interesting. The winner of the event will be announced tomorrow (October 1). Soon after, Green Building Advisor and Fine Homebuilding will announce our own winner.

 

 

Help choose a winner

Part of our judging criteria will include your input, so read up on each entry in the individual write-ups that Richard Defendorf has compiled and place your vote using the “Helpful?” box at the top of each individual team page at GBA (find a list of them all here: 2011 Solar Decathlon Resource Guide. All of us at The Taunton Press would like to congratulate all the participants for a job well done. And I’ll sleep better at night knowing that these young folks are building a better world. What’s more, they’re building it with their own hands. Patrick McCombe

0 Comments

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related

Community

Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |