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Expertise, Thoughtful Approach Define Solar Decathlon Juries

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carol Anna

Of the 10 contests that make up the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, five are juried:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Communications
  • Affordability
  • Market Appeal.

In juried contests, jurors who are experts in their fields evaluate each house and award points for features that cannot be measured.

“What I loved most about the Communications jurors was how thoughtful they were in their deliberations,” says Terri Jones, Communications Contest official. “It’s not just that they took their job seriously; it’s that they wanted to do it right and honor the teams’ efforts.”

Photo of a woman and two men listening to a presentation.

Communications jurors Stacy Wilson, Ryan Dings, and Mark Walhimer take notes while touring Team New York’s house. (Credit: Alexis Powers/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The Communications jurors evaluated each team’s public exhibit materials, video walkthrough, and website prior to arriving in the solar village. After they arrived, they spent two days experiencing the public tours. Photos and notes helped them remember each house, team, and tour. After each tour, the jurors spent 10 minutes in the house without team members to discuss what worked, what didn’t work, and what the team could have done better. After all the tours were complete, the jurors went to a deliberation room offsite and worked together to come to a decision about the contest winners.

“Teams needed to excel in the broad spectrum of communication vehicles available in the event,” Terri says. “And that’s what the winner did.”

Juried contest announcements began Tuesday with the Affordability Contest, followed by the Architecture Contest announcement today. Winners of the Engineering Contest will be announced Thursday, Communications on Friday, and Market Appeal on Saturday during the Awards Ceremony.

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

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