Friday, October 14, 2005


Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon 2005 is on the Mall in Washington right now! Here are the entries:

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo:

Concordia University (Montreal):

University of Colorado:

Cornell University:

Designed to be produced as manufactured housing, with a target cost between $50,000 and $100,000.

Crowder College:

Florida International University:

Universidad Politecnica de Madrid:

University of Maryland:

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth:

House will be donated to Habitat for Humanity after competition.

University of Michigan:

University of Missouri, Rolla:

New York Institute of Technology:

Uses a hydrogen fuel cell instead of batteries.

Pittsburgh Synergy:

Universidad de Puerto Rico:

Rhode Island School of Design:

University of Texas:

Virginia Tech:

Washington State University:

There's a lot more about these houses here, including links to the web sites for each house/project. I've been hoping that the U of M would win this, but the competition looks fierce (and I'm afraid they finish dead last in the sketches provided for the overview, although Pittsburgh's is pretty lame as well--photos of models always look tacky). From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, I like the Concordia, Cornell, Madrid, Massachusetts, Missouri-Rolla and Puerto Rico designs best. While the need to transport the houses is a positive in terms of possible conversion to mass production, it does have the downside that it prevents any use of earth sheltering. A few of the houses are intended to be hooked up to ground-source heat pumps once they reach their permanent locations.

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