Sustainability + Solar Homes: Photos from the Decathlon
As noted in a recent post, Orange County hosted the U.S. Department of Energy's biennial green building event the Solar Decathlon this year, constructing a village of 'solar homes' in Irvine's Great Park, open to the public two weekends in October.
The twenty student-built projects compete in ten contests with specific criteria, ranging from architecture and engineering to communications and energy balance. The individual contest scores are totaled at the end of the competition to determine overall livability, efficiency and affordability, awarding the team with the highest overall score first place.
While the living wall at Ecohabit was one of the more successful landscape implementations, all the homes featured integrated smart technologies, such as responsive shading devices and energy management systems, designed to meet or exceed the zero-net energy requirement.
Teams also employed creative resource conservation strategies, including rainwater harvesting and solar collection, to reduce potential environmental impacts and create living environments that are not only efficient, but comfortable, beautiful and accessible.
Congrats to all the participating teams, and we look forward to seeing more innovation, creativity and green design in two years time at the next Solar Decathlon!