The Solar Decathlon challenged 20 college and university teams to compete in 10 contests and design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home. After two years of preparation and a week of competition, the final scores and standings are in.
This team from Germany came to the Solar Decathlon hoping to have an impact on people, and it's safe to say that this happened. Darmstadt won the Architecture, Lighting, and Engineering contests. The Architecture Jury said the house pushed the envelope on all levels and is the type of house they came to the Decathlon hoping to see. The Lighting Jury loved the way this house glows at night. The Engineering Jury gave this team an innovation score that was as high as you could go, and said nobody did the integration of the photovoltaic system any better. Darmstadt was one of seven teams to score a perfect 100 points in the Energy Balance contest. All week, long lines of people waited to get into this house.
At the beginning of the week, people wondered if the Maryland team would have a home-field advantage because they are so close to Washington, D.C. As the week progressed, and Maryland won the Communications contest and was second in Architecture, Market Viability, and Lighting, it became clear that Maryland didn't need any advantage. The Communications Jury praised their excellent Web site and house tour. The Architecture Jury said the house definitely belonged in the top tier. The Lighting and Market Viability juries also had high praise. They were one of seven teams to score a perfect 100 points in the Energy Balance contest.
Thw team from Santa Clara wanted to build a sustainable solar house that is functional, elegant, and innovative—and they did just that. The Communications Jury lauded their friendly, enthusiastic house tour, which was informative, entertaining, and very much "on target" for public audiences. They were one of five teams to score a perfect 100 points in the Hot Water contest and one of seven teams to score a perfect 100 points in the Energy Balance contest. Their house almost didn't make it to the Solar Decathlon, because their transport truck broke an axle and delayed them by three days.
For more information about the contest and the judging criteria, visit Contests and Scoring. The complete scoring spreadsheet, including very detailed information for each team and contest, is also available. (Zip 14.5 MB)