JIM TE TRO/U.S. DEPAR TMEN T OF ENERGy SOLAR DECAThLON
open your house to thousands of visitors each
day, sometimes in the rain.
Maryland took the lead on the first day, but
was edged out by China’s Tongji University on
day two. By the day three, when Tongji started to
fade, Maryland moved back into first place with
Purdue and Ohio close behind. All the houses
Purdue University proved
that suburban houses are
a perfect fit for solar. The
INhome meets the needs of a
typical Midwestern homeown-
er in today’s cost-competitive
scored 97 points or more
(each with costs of $280,000
or less). Purdue, with its
$257,000 house, moved into first
place ahead of Ohio State. Maryland
dropped to third with its $336,000 house.
Purdue’s glory didn’t last long. On Wednes-
STEFANO PALTERA/U. S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGy SOLAR DECATh LON
Middlebury College’s Solar Decathlon team cheers after they placed first in the Market Appeal contest in
the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011.
munications skills, and then
first place in Market Appeal
on Saturday morning with a
straightforward, appealing design
that captivated jury members. That
provided Middlebury with enough points to
move ahead of Ohio State in the standings, but
not enough to move ahead of New Zealand’s
strong performance. Middlebury had to settle
for fourth place overall, just four points behind
third-place New Zealand.
For more scores and competition details,
please visit solardecathlon.gov/scores.html.
Copyright © 2012 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
were operating reliably, with no clear leader until
the Affordability contest results were announced
on Tuesday, Sept. 27.
To win 100 points in the Affordability contest,
houses had to have an estimated construction
cost of $250,000 or less. A sliding scale reduced
points to zero at $600,000. Two teams scored
100 points: Parsons The New School-Stevens
and Team Belgium. Purdue, SCI-Arc/Caltech,
Team Massachusetts and Middlebury College
day, Sept. 28, the Architecture contest results
were announced on Capitol Hill in the Congres-
sional Visitor’s Center as part of a salute to Sen.
Menendez from New Jersey. Maryland’s Water-
shed house placed first.
As the finish approached, Middlebury College, the small liberal arts college in Vermont,
threatened an upset. Middlebury won first place
in the Communications contest on Friday,
Sept. 30, with their stellar messaging and com-
Building a Better Future
The value of the Solar Decathlon lies in
what everyone learns. The students gain leadership skills while participating in the educational
opportunity of a lifetime. Soon another set of
university teams will be selected to compete in
the 2013 event. They will undoubtedly impress
me by designing even better homes, jam-packed
with innovative ideas for sustainable living.
More broadly, the Solar Decathlon goes
beyond being a competition for students who
aspire to win. It’s a self-propelling rocket aimed
at a better future. Decathletes recognize the
urgency of their mission, and they are meeting
the challenges head-on, full
speed ahead. ST
Richard King, creator and
director of the Solar Decathlon, works in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Buildings
Program. He can be reached