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Photo of Solar Decathlon Director Richard King being interviewed by a videographer.

Appalachian State Wins People’s Choice Award

Saturday, October 1, 2011

By Carol Anna

Appalachian State University won the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 People’s Choice Award for its Solar Homestead today. This award gives the public the opportunity to vote for its favorite house. This year, 92,538 votes were cast. The award was announced at a Victory Reception in the solar Village in West Potomac Park—the last official event of Solar Decathlon 2011.

Photo of Steven Chu shaking hands with Jeffrey Tiller as David Lee looks on.

On Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu spoke with Jeffrey Tiller, left, and David Lee, right, members of Appalachian State’s Solar Decathlon team. (Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

“The team’s passion and enthusiasm were contagious,” said Terri Jones, Solar Decathlon Communications Contest official. “The People’s Choice Award is a popular vote, and I believe the Solar Homestead house and team appealed to people on many levels.”

The Solar Homestead is a self-sustaining net zero-energy house inspired by the pioneer spirit of the early settlers to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The isolation of early settlers to the Appalachian region fostered a pioneer spirit in those who established self-sustaining living/working compounds on the frontier. The Solar Homestead fuses these values into a highly energy-efficient home, which remains true to these underlying principles by integrating renewable resources and innovative technology into a prototype that is adaptable, self-sufficient, rugged, affordable, and attractive.

As announced earlier this week, Appalachian State also won second place in the Communications Contest and third place in the Architecture Contest. Appalachian State University is located in Boone, North Carolina.

Carol Anna is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

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8 Responses to “Appalachian State Wins People’s Choice Award”

  1. Artep Says:

    Loved the canopy over the outdoor space. Every entry I visited had features I loved. As far as I’m concerned you’re all winners. Congratulations to all participants!

  2. iBEAM Says:

    I loved the design and the homage to the Homestead. More than this, I loved the passion and initiative from the team. The actual experience of talking to them while touring completely overshadowed all the other teams. Also, when I found out that there is neither an Architecture or Engineering program at ASU, I was floored and further impressed that the team overcame and produced their own vernacular. Please understand… I have a Master of Architecture from the University of Tennessee, a school that was also in the Decathlon. While I certainly appreciated my alma mater’s design and felt that they had a superbly executed design, the delegates from Appalachian State warmed my heart. I went to work last Monday, fully intending to brag about UT’s entry but all I could seem to do was gush about the Homestead. Congratulations to the team.

  3. wrpfleger Says:

    After seeing every entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon this year, I have to say that the entry by ASU deserved far better than their overall score reflected. The team was by far the most interactive and informative as you toured the home. The only other team that even seemed remotely interested in informing people about their home as you toured was Maryland and that was only outside as you waited in line…once inside you got nothing. Their design was the most liveable with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths (if you include the outdoor shower). Most other teams had 1 br / 1 ba designs some had 2 brs. The solar hot water “on demand” system was the most innovative in the competition and it worked as I learned they received full points in this category. Most other teams seemed to be using generic off the shelf stuff that seemed over sized. The overall quality of construction was SUPERB and out shined EVERYONE else in the competition. I can’t cover all the fantastic features and details ASU incorporated, as I understand it their house reflected a REAL LIVABLE home rather than a purpose built contest winner and I think in the end that is what counts and why they deservedly won the people choice award. Congratulations Team ASU!

  4. solardecathlon Says:

    Thank you for your comment and kudos for the Appalachian State University team. In fairness to the other teams, we’d like to point out that all teams were encouraged to provide explanations and hold discussions about their houses outside during periods of high traffic. The intent was to allow more people to tour the houses.

  5. Ambit Energy Says:

    Love it!!! Make more future saving :)

  6. priankab90 Says:

    This year, 92,538 votes were cast. Appalachian State also won second place in the Communications Contest and third place in the Architecture Contest. Appalachian State University is located in Boone, North Carolina.

  7. stuart Says:

    Congratulations on the milestone TEAM ASU

  8. lonell Says:

    Solar Energy (green energy) is what this country needs to be innovative and lessen its dependency on foreign oil. Congratulations to Appalachian State University!

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