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Solar Decathlon Blog - Virginia Tech

Below you will find Solar Decathlon news from the Virginia Tech archive, sorted by date.

Teresa Hamm Modley:
Designing, Building and Beyond

Monday, March 9, 2020

We’re continuing our series, #SDLivingTheDream, highlighting alumni of both the Build Challenge and Design Challenge and how their time in the competition 

has shaped their careers and their lives. This month, it’s an alum of *both* Challenges.


Name: Teresa Hamm Modley

Year participated in Solar Decathlon:

  1. 2011 Solar Decathlon (as a team partner for the Empowerhouse, I worked for Habitat for Humanity of DC)
  2. 2017-2018 Race to Zero, Elementary School Division (more…)

Congratulations to Virginia Tech and Solar Decathlon Europe

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Virginia Tech took top honors to a standing ovation at the Solar Decathlon Europe awards ceremony today in Madrid, Spain. The decathletes were ecstatic to finally win after participating in four Solar Decathlons. And this was the closest margin of victory in a Solar Decathlon. Virginia Tech won by less than a point! (more…)

Competition Intensifies at Solar Decathlon Europe

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too close to call! Virginia Tech had a commanding 35-point lead at Solar Decathlon Europe earlier this week, but the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim has cut that lead to only six points now. With only today and tomorrow left to score performance-based points, everything the teams do—from hot water draws to cooking to washing to cooling their houses—really makes a difference. Every point counts.


Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences Wins Solar Decathlon Europe Engineering and Construction Contest

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Germans and French ran away with the prestigious Engineering and Construction contest at Solar Decathlon Europe today. Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences was awarded first place, and Arts et Métiers Paris Tech took second.  A two-way tie was announced for third between the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim and Ecole National Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble.

The jury members had high praise for the engineering excellence exhibited by all the teams and said even they learned a lot. They also said they were impressed by how many teams focused on the goal of “doing more with less.” That is the real challenge today for engineers, they said. (more…)

U.S. Ambassador Solomont Visits Solar Decathlon Europe

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Today at 11 a.m., U.S. Ambassador to Spain Alan Solomont visited Solar Decathlon Europe.

Much to the delight of the U.S. teams, Ambassador Solomont toured the University of Florida house and then the Virginia Tech house. The ambassador also visited two Spanish teams: the Universidad de Sevilla and the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera. Finally, he visited Tongji University’s Bamboo House. Ambassador Solomont praised the students and faculty and was very impressed by their work. He spent more than an hour and a half touring the houses. (more…)

University of Florida Wins Communications and Social Awareness Contest at Solar Decathlon Europe

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The award ceremonies continue in Solar Decathlon Europe’s Villa Solar. This afternoon, the Communications and Social Awareness award was presented to the University of Florida for its solar house, RE:FOCUS.


Virginia Tech Retains Solar Decathlon Europe Lead

Monday, June 21, 2010

As of 7 p.m. Monday, Virginia Tech remains in first place overall at Solar Decathlon Europe because of its third-place finish in the Industrialization and Market Viability contest. The Industrialization and Market Viability announcement was made at 5 p.m. today. The Virginia Tech decathletes were extremely happy to again place in the top three in a major contest. (more…)

Virginia Tech Takes the Lead at Solar Decathlon Europe

Monday, June 21, 2010

Virginia Tech is in first place at Solar Decathlon Europe—and it was judged first in the Architecture contest! What a busy weekend for the Virginia decathletes. They worked their way up from third place on Saturday to take first place Sunday based on solid performance in the measured contests. Lumenhaus has performed almost perfectly so far. (more…)

Solar Decathlon Europe Teams Race to Finish Assembly

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The final stretch. Today is the last day for assembly at Solar Decathlon Europe. All houses must be completed, inspected, and connected to the power grid by this evening, or they cannot score points on the first day of competition. Some teams, such as Virginia Tech and Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, are finished, but others, including the the University of Florida and the Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluña, still have a lot of work to do. I had dinner with a couple of the Florida team members last night, and they were upbeat about their prospects. As soon as Florida finishes its decking—hopefully today—it will be ready. (more…)

Construction Intensifies at Solar Decathlon Europe

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The pace has really picked up today at Solar Decathlon Europe. Teams are working double-time because only 35 hours of construction time remain. The opening ceremony will begin Thursday morning at 11 a.m. to officially open the Villa Solar.


Thinking Outside the Box (An International Shipping Container)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

By Amy Vaughn

All overseas teams that have competed in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon have shipped their house sections in an international shipping container or made their house section the same size as one. This is very convenient because handling, lifting, and moving an international shipping container is relatively easy and no extra paperwork is required for transport on public roads.


Rain Falls While Construction Progresses in the Villa Solar

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Imagine having to work all day and night outside in cold rain. The Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 competitors are working in these conditions on the third day of assembly. With rain forecast through Sunday, the teams will have to get used to constructing their houses in the rain. But most would prefer the rain now than during the competition, when they’ll need sunshine to power their houses. (more…)

Construction Continues at Solar Decathlon Europe

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

With big trucks rolling onto the Villa Solar throughout the night, the Solar Decathlon Europe competition site is quickly taking shape. Many team sites contain houses that are already half built. Others are still nearly empty lots. The Tianjin and Helsinki houses are currently stuck in cargo containers in the port of Valencia, Spain, which is experiencing a strike. Solar Decathlon Europe organizers are working with Spanish government officials to get the containers released. In the meantime, these teams wait and watch their competitors hard at work.


Assembly Begins at Solar Decathlon Europe

Monday, June 7, 2010

About 200 decathletes and organizers gathered in Madrid today to kick off Solar Decathlon Europe 2010. Unfortunately, the international economic crisis has hit Solar Decathlon Europe hard, and three of the original 20 teams (Valencia, Mexico, and Brazil) had to drop out of the competition. Following team registration and a welcome meeting, the 17 remaining teams rushed off to begin construction.


2009 Virginia Tech House Steals the Show in Times Square

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Virginia Tech’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009 entry, Lumenhaus, traveled to New York’s Times Square this week, where it wowed passersby and wooed audiences on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Watch a video clip of “Good Morning America” weather anchor Sam Champion interviewing Virginia Tech team member Chip Clark, or see additional photos of Lumenhaus in Times Square on Flickr.

The next stop on the house’s tour will be Madrid, Spain, to compete in Solar Decathlon Europe this June.



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