If every new neighborhood develops an
identity and a soul, then we can’t wait to see
what spirit the decathletes’ village brings. We
hope it’s the birth of something special.
U. S. DEPAr TMEn T oF EnErG Y So LAr DECATHLon
The U.S. Department of energy Solar Decathlon 2011 team participants wave last January at the
International Builders’ Show, where scale models of their 2011 houses were on display.
Copyright © 2011 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
new Contest Encourages
With Solar Decathlon history spanning
almost 10 years, it is no surprise that the
competition rules have evolved. This year,
a new Affordability contest challenges the
teams to find a cost-effective way to win
the competition. We hope this new contest
will raise consumer awareness about how to
save money and reduce energy consumption
using affordable clean-energy products that
are available today.
The main objective of the rules has always
been to place as few constraints as possible
on the teams while maintaining a safe and fair
event. A clean sheet of paper and a motivated
mind produce the best result.
The Solar Decathlon rules evaluate appeal
and measure performance in 10 ways —
through 10 contests worth 100 points each.
One of the competition’s original goals was to
see who could design a house that produced
enough power to provide essential transpor-
tation for the household. The key to winning
solartoday.org SOLAR TODA Y September/October 2011 59
was to not only design a beautiful house that
worked reliably, but to also generate enough
electricity to charge an electric vehicle.
The rules worked. Over the first three
events, each winning house produced energy
for all its household needs and generated