The U.S. Department of Energy held the first Solar Decathlon Competition in 2002, since then the competition has become a biennial event which colleges around the world compete for a chance to be involved in. Only 20 projects are chosen each year from the conceptual phase to move to the build stage. The “stage” is set at the National Mall’s Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Each home is judged in ten different categories:
- Architecture Contest
- Market Appeal Contest
- Engineering Contest
- Communications Contest
- Affordability Contest
- Comfort Zone Contest
- Hot Water Contest
- Appliance Contest
- Home Entertainment Contest
- Energy Balance Contest
Basically “The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.” U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon website.
This year, Team Massachusetts (comprised of students from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and University of Massachusetts at Lowell), designed a home with the use of modular technology. They chose to work closely with Epoch Homes of Pembroke, NH. Epoch Homes is certified as a Green Approved NAHB Research Center. They work diligently to give homeowners affordable green building options.
We will be highlighting Team Massachusetts, Epoch Homes and the Solar Decathlon competition in our blog over the next several weeks.
For more information about this competition, please check out the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon website.