Energy COOL time in Washington, DC

Being an EcoGeek is becoming ever more fashionable. And, increasingly, there are events where EcoGeek’s can gather in style.  The Solar Decathlon is a bi-annual ever cool event, pitting colleges and universities across the nation in ten contests that “center on the ways we use energy in our daily lives.”

The Solar Decathlon joins 20 college and university teams in a competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house.

From 12-20 October, the Solar Decathlon will be open to visitors on the Mall in Washington, DC.   There is so much there that you can expect it to take two days to visit all 20 team houses.  (Visitor info.)

The contest is quite focused:

the development and demonstration of solar-powered homes in which, by the year 2015, the whole-house, levelized energy cost has been reduced to $.10/kWh. This needs to be achieved while complying with the criteria associated with the 10 contests that the competition comprises.

What is the basic criteria

To compete, the teams must design and build energy-efficient homes that are powered exclusively by the sun. The homes must be attractive and easy to live in. They must maintain a comfortable temperature, provide attractive and adequate lighting, power household appliances for cooking and cleaning, power home electronics, and provide hot water. These houses must also power an electric vehicle to meet household transportation needs.  

The homes will be judged on performance, completion of tasks, and aesthetics.  It has to look good, support a family, and produce power.  And, well, the team has to do a good job marketing (communicating) with the 10,000s of visiors.

The contest is international, three of the 20 teams are non-US (Canada; Spain; Germany). 

This is a must-do event for any EcoGeek who can get there — whether in person or virtually.

See you there …

One response to “Energy COOL time in Washington, DC

  1. Apollo Gonzales

    I only just learned of this event this week. I’m very excited about attending some of the events, and can’t wait to see the projects that come out of this. I think I read about something like this where the houses they worked on were sold at reasonable prices. There are a few in DC, no? I think it was a slide show at last year’s Green Festival (which is this weekend in DC).

    The only sore spot about the Decathlon is all of the giant BP ads in the Capitol South Metro. They remind me of the blasphemous Chevron commercials playing every hour on CNN.

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