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Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California
October 8-18, 2015


The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 featured contests that relied on juries to determine their results. Using objective and subjective measures to evaluate the team houses, the jurors assigned points that determined each team's score and standing.

Learn more about the jurors who served on these contest juries for Solar Decathlon 2015.


Photo of Alastair Reilly

Alastair Reilly

Alastair Reilly brings more than 20 years of architectural and urban planning experience to his roles as design director and sustainability leader at William McDonough + Partners. His focus on research-informed design allows him to find innovative, sustainable solutions to complex building types. He leads design on William McDonough + Partners' most innovative sustainable projects—including NASA's Sustainability Base, Google Master planning and workplace strategies, and VMware's Corporate Campus—and is involved in a range of design initiatives globally, including Park 20I20 in the Netherlands.

Through advanced technology, research, and overarching sustainable principles, Alastair brings to bear added financial and ecological value to global projects. He aims to create progressive, eco-effective architecture through a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach. His experience includes large-scale, high-rise, and mixed-use urban developments as well as campus workplace, hospitality, and residential projects. He has also taught sustainable architecture at Catholic University for its entry to Solar Decathlon 2013 and advised corporate leaders and business groups including P&G and Google on sustainable strategies. Alastair has extensive project management experience in commercial base building. His background in construction enables him to develop unique design criteria into buildable architecture.

Photo of Ashar Nelson

Ashar Nelson

Ashar is a lifelong Vermonter with over two and a half decades of experience in design and construction. As a principal architect at Vermont Integrated Architecture, PC (VIA), and occasional faculty in the Architectural Studies program at Middlebury College, he is committed to promoting sustainable building designs and innovative construction methods. Ashar believes that an integrated design process, representing building users, constructors, estimators, and craftsmen, as well as design professionals, is essential in achieving high-performance buildings.

Ashar is a founding principal at VIA, a firm that focuses on delivering high-quality architecture developed with attention to the triple bottom line — people, planet, and fiscal stability. He served as a faculty advisor and teacher of nine courses in support of Middlebury's 2011 and 2013 Solar Decathlon efforts. A registered architect in Vermont, Ashar has a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Middlebury College and a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Oregon.

Photo of Ann Edminster

Ann Edminster

Ann Edminster is a leading international expert on green homes who helps professionals develop their capacity to create better projects. Her award-winning book, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, is the definitive guide for design and construction of zero-energy homes. She has guided numerous project teams of award-winning zero-energy and LEED Platinum residential projects and was a principal developer of LEED for Homes.

Ann chairs the Green Building Task Force for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America. She also serves on the board of the Net Zero Energy Coalition and is director of the Net Zero North American Leadership Summit. She has developed curricula for design and construction of zero net energy homes and is a frequent speaker and teacher on this topic and others at conferences, universities, non-profits, and utilities. In 2013, Ann was named the first Woman of the Year by Affordable Comfort Inc.


Photo of Carolynne Harris

Carolynne Harris

As principal of her own museum consulting business since 2004, Carolynne works with non-profit organizations, architects, designers, and developers to plan and execute complex, engaging exhibitions, institutional planning, and new museum facilities. She lends creative, technical, operational, and three-dimensional communication expertise to visitor experiences in all stages of development.

Carolynne's clients have included the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories of the American South, College Football Hall of Fame, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, NASCAR Hall of Fame, National Building Museum, and The Center for Puppetry Arts.

Prior to her consulting work, Carolynne held senior-level positions at the Smithsonian Institution and Fernbank Museum of Natural History. She has been published in Curator magazine, organized and presented sessions at national museum conferences, and reviewed grants for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Photo of Macie Melendez

Macie Melendez

Macie Melendez is a writer and editor with 10 years of experience in both print and online publications. She is currently the associate editor of Home Energy magazine, which publishes practical information on residential energy efficiency, performance, comfort, and affordability.

Previously, Macie was the associate editor for Smart Meetings magazine, and an editorial assistant for Weldon Owen Publishing. Her writing has been published in various publications, including The Huffington Post and San Francisco magazine. In addition, Macie is well-versed in social media and blogging. Macie holds a bachelor's degree in English from San Diego State University.

Photo of Mark Walhimer

Mark Walhimer

Mark Walhimer is the author of Museums 101, an A-Z guide on how museums work, how to set up an exhibit, and how to start a museum. It's a comprehensive book on operational basics and behind-the-scenes museum management that focuses on the visitor's experience. Mark's company, Museum Planning LLC, specializes in the planning, design, and management of interactive educational experiences. He started his firm in 1999 to assist startup and expanding museums with exhibition design, art handling, project management, fabrication, and installation. He has completed more than 40 projects worldwide for an international clientele that includes science centers, art museums, history museums, libraries, and corporations. Projects include "Alcatraz: Life on the Rock," a 2,800-ft2 traveling exhibition that opened on Ellis Island in October 2011, and the Trans Studio Science Center, which opened in 2012 in Bandung, Indonesia.

Prior to starting his company, Mark held positions at Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California; the Children's Museum of Manhattan; and Liberty Science Center. He has a bachelor's degree in studio art from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and a master's degree in industrial design and exhibition design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.


Photo of Michael   Brandemuehl

Michael Brandemuehl

Michael J. Brandemuehl is Professor Emeritus of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. He performs teaching and research related to the design, operation, and analysis of building energy systems, with emphasis on the modeling and simulation of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems and their controls; smart building systems; and application of renewable energy technologies.

Much of Mike's current teaching and research activities grew from his role as faculty advisor for the University of Colorado U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon teams, which won first place in 2002 and 2005. Prior to joining the University of Colorado faculty, he worked as a research engineer at United Technologies Carrier. Mike is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He has served on the ASHRAE Board of Directors and is a past president of the International Building Performance Simulation Association USA. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering through the Solar Energy Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Photo of Cynthia   Cruickshank

Cynthia Cruickshank

Cynthia Cruickshank is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University. Her primary research involves the design and optimization of solar thermal energy systems and sensible heat storages, as well as energy efficient and sustainable energy concepts for commercial and residential building applications.

As a researcher and participant in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Smart Net-Zero Energy Buildings Strategic Research Network, Cynthia provides training to graduate students in fundamental and applied research associated with the development and optimization of new solar energy technologies for building heating and cooling. She is an active member of the Canadian Home Builders Association Technical Research Committee and served as a faculty advisor to Team Ontario in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013.

The recipient of a number of research awards, Cynthia has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed papers. She received her Ph.D. (2009) and B.A.Sc. (2003) degrees at Queen's University.

Photo of Ginger Scoggins

Ginger Scoggins

Ginger Scoggins is the president of Engineered Designs Inc. She is a licensed mechanical engineer with more than 25 years of experience in the design and construction of a variety of building types. She is also a certified Commissioning Agent and Energy Manager, and has obtained her LEED-AP certification. Her career focus has been on designing state-of-the-art heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that push the envelope on energy conservation.

In addition, Ginger is a long-standing member of ASHRAE, which works to promote a sustainable world. She has served in numerous positions and chaired several committees in the ASHRAE organization, as well as having presented technical sessions on sustainable design and energy modeling using ASHRAE Standard 90.1 Energy Standards for Buildings. Currently, Ginger is serving a three-year team on ASHRAE's National Board of Directors as Chair of Region IV.

Market Appeal

Photo of   Brian Baker

Brian Baker

Brian M. Baker is co-owner and director of marketing and design at Baker Development Group LLC, parent company to award-winning green design-build firms studio26 homes and Renu Building & Energy Solutions. In 2007, studio26 homes was honored with the coveted Building Innovation Award from the Pennsylvania Builders Association. In addition, Brian is a licensed realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors.

In June 2011, Professional Builder magazine recognized Brian as one of the top 40 under 40 home building professionals in the United States; and, in 2013, he was honored as a regional top 40 under 40 professional from the Lehigh Valley Business journal. In October 2013, the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, Lehigh Valley Branch, presented Brian with its Sustainability Award for Individual Leadership, and in February 2014, Brian was honored with the prestigious national NAHBGreen Individual Advocate of the Year Award from the National Association of Home Builders. Brian and his company have pioneered residential green building throughout eastern Pennsylvania, having been the first to complete green building certifications such as LEED Platinum, LEED Silver, American National Standards Institute National Green Building Standard Emerald, and National Association of Home Builders National Green Building Gold.

Brian graduated from Lehigh University with a bachelor's degree in architecture, and he received a master's in architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, he studied architecture and land planning in Paris, France. Brian has worked for Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership and Spillman Farmer Architects and has lectured on green building and real estate topics at venues such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Lehigh University.

Photo of Loraine Fowlow

Loraine Fowlow

Loraine Fowlow is an associate professor in the Architecture Program at the University of Calgary. She is a two-time veteran of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, having served as a faculty advisor for both Team Alberta in 2013 and Team Canada in 2011. Both teams finished in the top 10, with Team Canada's project being recognized with an award for excellence in environmental education by the Emerald Foundation of Alberta.

A past director of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Loraine currently sits on the Board of Governors of the Education and Research Council of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction and is the creator of its national Architecture program. Other current board appointments include the Building Technology Educators' Society and the Editorial Board of the University of Calgary Press. She has served as chair and member of eight Architectural Accreditation teams at universities in both the United States and Canada and has been a jury member in many architectural and engineering design competitions. With degrees in civil engineering and architecture, Lorraine is also an award-winning academic writer whose work has been widely published and presented around the globe.

Photo of Annette Stelmack

Annette Stelmack

Annette Stelmack is a nationally recognized, award-winning interior designer, educator, and author. Designated as a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Faculty, LEED AP BD+C, and American Society of Interior Designers REGREEN trainer, Annette is the founding principal of Inspirit-llc, whose mission is to instill courage and life through a fusion of stewardship and creativity. She specializes in healthy, high-performing, and sustainable interiors for residential, multi-unit housing, hospitality, and spa projects.

Annette was the primary author for the second edition of Sustainable Residential Interiors published by Wiley in 2014. The Green Economy Post included her in "Honoring 10 Women in Green Building and Design," and Innovative Home magazine named her one of the "Top Ten Green Design Gurus." An expert trainer, Annette creates and delivers curriculum through strategic partnerships with USGBC, the American Society of Interior Designers, and the Interior Design Continuing Education Council. A founding member of USGBC Colorado Chapter, Annette currently serves in volunteer leadership roles for USGBC, Greenbuild, and the Center for Green Schools.