Water Contest (100 points)
Always ahead of their time, past Solar Decathlon teams have consistently integrated water use and reuse strategies into their designs, even though no points were awarded for this effort. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon rewarded smart water solutions for the first time.
This new contest was important not only because water is a precious resource, but also because water and energy are inextricably linked—it takes water to make the energy we use, and it takes energy to treat and deliver the clean water we require. A jury of industry professionals evaluated each team's approach to water conservation, use, and reuse based on the following criteria.
- To what extent is the competition prototype house expected to use less water than a comparable code-built house?
- How successfully does the design encourage a homeowner to use less water than a typical homeowner?
- How well are the consideration of water usage and the strategies employed integrated into other elements of the competition prototype?
- Reclamation and Reuse
- To what extent does the competition prototype enable the reclamation and reuse of water utilized by the house?
- How effective and impactful are the strategies of water reclamation and reuse?
- How successfully does the team consider health and safety in the approach to water reclamation and reuse?
- To what extent does the design consider climatology in the landscaping design and execution?
- How appropriate are the selected plant palette and associated construction with regard to functionality and water usage?
- How successful is the landscape design with regard to energy efficiency, maintenance, water runoff, and irrigation methodologies?
For complete information, see the Solar Decathlon 2017 rules. Solar Decathlon teams should always refer to the rules.