building a sustainable and resilient community

Solar Decathlon 2011!

Posted on | September 25, 2011 | No Comments

Greetings from Washington DC, where I am visiting the 2011 Solar Decathlon.  This year, the university teams have set up shop in West Potomac Park due to a conflict on the National Mall.  The new location is slightly more difficult to get to but the journey is worth it… there are so many amazing things to see in these houses!

I brought my camera and have taken lots of photos but I managed to leave the cord for downloading the photos at home.  Needless to say I will post pictures as soon as I return to Portland.  I have seen 12 of the 19 houses so far, and they have had some amazing features:

  • New Zealand’s “First Light” bach: an all western cedar holiday house with a refined, open interior
  • Parsons / Stevens Empowerhouse: a house built for Habitat for Humanity of DC
  • SCI-arc / CalTech’s CHIP: a house with blanket-like “outsulation”
  • Team Belgium’s E-Cube: a pre-fab house with an IKEA-style assembly manual
  • Team Canada’s TRTL: a tribal-inspired technological house
  • University of Maryland’s Watershed: a lush, water-efficient home (& the current competition leader)
  • Team Massachusetts’ 4D house: a spacious, livable home with a solar PV porch
  • Team New Jersey’s ENJOY: a chic pre-cast concrete home with modern touches
  • Team Florida’s Flexhouse: an open, airy home for Florida climates
  • FIU’s perFORMDance House: an ADA-accessible home with hurricane louvers & copper cabinetry
  • Tidewater Virginia’s Unit 6: a traditionally-styled, developer-ready home
  • Appalachian University’s Solar Homestead: a modern home built with modules around a central outdoor pavilion… probably my favorite so far

I will talk more about the particulars of these houses once I have absorbed them all (and then again when I have photos).  If you are in the area, these are definitely worth a trip!  If you are around, you can probably find me tweeting about what house I am visiting… come find me @theGDC with the hashtag #SD2011.



Leave a Reply