Keya Lea

The 20 Teams in the 2011 Solar Decathlon

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Courtesy of DOE / NREL, Credit: James W. Norris

The Solar Decathlon is a global competition that challenges universities to create attractive, efficient, and cost effective solar powered homes.

The Solar Decathlon will be taking place from September 22 through October 2, 2011.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, this challenge is a process that takes collegiate teams over 2 years of development. It culminates in the construction and showcase of their solar powered homes.

The 20 teams will travel to Washington D.C. to construct their solar efficient homes to be on display to the public.  These homes are also tested for efficiency and judged on their overall design and perceived comfort by a team of expert architects, builders, designers and representatives from the energy industry.

On January 11, 2011, it was announced that Solar Decathlon would not be held on the National Mall. Instead, it will be held at the location of the newly opened Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial


The 20 Collegiate Teams chosen for the 2011 Solar Decathlon

The team is followed by its home city and the name of its entry links to their conceptual model.

Gent University – Ghent, Belgium
E-Cube model

City College of New York – New York, New York
The Solar Roofpod model

Appalachian State University – Boone, North Carolina
The Solar Homestead model

Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio
INTROHouse model

Florida State University, Central Florida University, University of Florida and University of South Florida, – Tallahassee, Orlando, Gainesville, and Tampa, Florida
Flex House model

Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell – Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts
4-D Home model

Florida International University – Miami, Florida
PerFORM[D]ance House model

Tongji University – Shanghai, China
Y-BOX model

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Tennessee
Living Light: UT Solar Decathlon House model

So. California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology
– Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA
CH:IP model

Victoria University of Wellington – Victory, New Zealand
First Light model

Middlebury College – Middlebury, Vermont
Self-Reliance model

Stevens Institute of Technology and Parsons The New School for Design – Hoboken, New Jersey and New York, New York
emPowerhouse model

University of Hawaii – Honolulu, Hawaii
Hale Pilihonua model – withdrew from competition

Rutgers the State University of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute of Technology – New Brunswick and Newark, New Jersey
eNJoy! New Jersey Solar House model

Old Dominion University and Hampton University – Norfolk and Hampton, Virginia
Unit 6 Unplugged model

Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana
IN Home model

University of Calgary – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
TRTL: Technological Residence, Traditional Living model

University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland
Watershed model

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois
Re_Home model


The 2011 Solar Decathlon Models





As I begin writing, we’re currently in the middle of a two year cycle. This past April 2010, the 20 teams were chosen and their models were on display for a week at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). I visited, checked them out and will be writing about them.

The models are quite varied in their design and use of various passive and active solar technologies.






The Department of Energy Websitehttp://www.solardecathlon.gov/




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