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Solar Decathlon 2005

Photos of the Day

High-resolution photos for many of these images are available in the Photo Library.

September 29-October 16, 2005


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September 29, 2005

Photo of a semi-truck carrying an electric car and parts of a Solar Decathlon team house.

Soon after midnight on September 29, the trucks were allowed to enter the National Mall and the Solar Decathlon construction zone. The trucks transported the solar homes the Decathlon teams constructed on their respective campuses and then disassembled for transport. Teams have one week to reassemble their homes on the Mall. This truck is carrying a disassembled Solar Decathlon home and a GEM electric vehicle that will be used in the Getting Around contest.
(Credit: Cécile Warner, NREL)



Photo of Solar Decathlon participants at a presentation in a conference room.

Weary students from the 18 Solar Decathlon teams attend the orientation meeting where Richard King, Competition Director, outlines safety procedures and presents teams with the "Building Permits" for the National Mall. Arriving at the Mall is another milestone in this project that has consumed their lives for more than two years.
(Credit: Ivilina Thornton, NREL)



Photo of Solar Decathlon houses being assembled on the Mall with the U.S. Capitol in the background.

Dawn breaks on the 2005 Solar Decathlon. Overnight, the student teams have unloaded their solar houses onto their building sites. Though the houses are still "under wraps," you can see the teams have employed vastly different strategies to design the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home.
(Credit: Ivilina Thornton, NREL)



Photo of Solar Decathlon houses being assembled on the Mall.

With the U.S. Capitol and Smithsonian Castle as a backdrop, the solar village is beginning to take shape. The Solar Decathlon teams worked through the night to unload their trucks and "stage" the construction of their solar powered homes. In one week, these 18 homes will be finished, complete with landscaping, wall art, and solar electric systems that generate all the electricity a modern house needs.
(Credit: Ivilina Thornton, NREL)



Photo of the Solar decathlon solar village taking shape on the National Mall. Three construction cranes are seen with the Washington Monument in the background.

A forest of cranes competes for a view normally dominated by the Washington Monument early in the morning of September 29.
(Credit: Ivilina Thornton, NREL)



Photo of a smiling New York Institute of technology student standing in front of his Solar decathlon solar house on the National mall. His hands are raised above his head in excitement.

A New York Institute of Technology student still feels strong after working all night and into the afternoon. The students' enthusiasm and energy is infectious. The modular design of these solar houses allows them to be quickly reassembled onsite. The University of Maryland home is in the background.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of Solar Decathlon solar houses on the National Mall with the Washington Monument in the background.

After the threat of rain and gusty conditions, the weather front passed through leaving a clear blue sky and perfect home-building conditions. The main tent that will house educational exhibits and workshops is going up and the "pavement" is going down. The temporary flooring helps protect the National Mall.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)





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September 30, 2005

Photo of the Solar Decathlon solar village at sunrise with the US Capitol building in the background.

The sight of the U.S. Capitol, at any time of day, is inspiring. It's even more so when you are standing in the middle of the Solar Decathlon solar village at sunrise. Day two of the 2005 Solar Decathlon dawned with some student competitors having worked through the night — and their progress was apparent.
(Credit: Cécile Warner, NREL)



Photo of the Florida International University's Solar Decathlon solar house under construction.

When the day shift of Solar Decathlon students and organizers left the solar village Thursday night, Florida International University's lot still was empty. But, by morning, there it was — the house seemed to have grown from the ground overnight. The addition of the FIU house to the village left only three empty lots: the Rhode Island School of Design (the trucks carrying the house were on the Mall after overcoming very difficult shipping challenges), Crowder College (the house is close to Washington, D.C., after several serious breakdowns on the road), and the lot where the "Anatomy of a House" exhibit will be installed.
(Credit: Cécile Warner, NREL)



Photo of the sign for the Smithsonian Metro station on the National Mall in Washington. D.C. In the background a larger banner welcomes visitors to the 2005 Solar Decathlon.

Anyone familiar with Washington, D.C., will find that this year's Solar Decathlon truly is in the middle of everything. Look one way and you see the U.S. Capitol. Look the other way and you see the Washington Monument. As you can see in this picture, the solar village will be right next to the Smithsonian Metro station. In the background, you can see the Old Post Office building. This central location makes is easy for anyone to come and see the amazing work of the students.
(Credit: David Crouch, Department of Energy)



Photo of a student working on the roof of his Solar Decathlon solar house.

Today, many schools installed the roof on their respective houses. This is a major milestone in building any house, but critically important in this competition because the roof is where the solar electric (photovoltaic system), will be housed. This student is working on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University house, which also was featured today in a Washington Post article that encouraged parents to bring their children to the Solar Decathlon sometime in the next two weeks. The article emphasizes that the Solar Decathlon can inspire students and adults alike.
(Credit: Cécile Warner, NREL)



Photo of students installing photovoltaic panels on the University of Colorado Solar Decathlon solar house.

Once the roof is in place, the students waste no time getting the photovoltaic (PV) systems installed. The sooner they can get the system up and running, the sooner they can begin to generate electricity. These PV systems are obviously critical to this competition, as they will supply all the energy needed for the teams to compete in the 10 contests of the Decathlon. Here students from the University of Colorado install their photovoltaic panels on their roof.
(Credits: David Crouch, Department of Energy)



Photo of students installing photovoltaic panels on the Concordia University and Université de Montréal Solar Decathlon solar house.

The Concordia University and Université de Montréal house is designed with an optimal slope for housing the PV panels.
(Credits: David Crouch, Department of Energy)



Photo of students installing photovoltaic panels on the University of Maryland Solar Decathlon solar house.

In the University of Maryland entry, the photovoltaics are an extension of the home design. This concept of incorporating PV into a building's design in known as Building Integrated PV.
(Credits: David Crouch, Department of Energy)



Photo of two students from the Pittsburgh Synergy team eating lunch.

Although the students are frantically working night and day to reassemble their solar houses and apply the finishing touches, they do make time to grab a quick lunch. Today, lunch was provided by Sprint, one of the Solar Decathlon sponsors. Sprint is on site working hard to set up the network that will provide Internet access for the students and transmit the Solar Decathlon scores and standings over the Internet. Here, two students from the Pittsburgh Synergy team steal a few minutes to refuel.
(Credit: David Crouch, Department of Energy)



Photo of the University of Texas at Austin Solar Decathlon solar house under construction.

The students designed their houses so they could be reassembled incredibly quickly and efficiently, knowing that they would only have a few days to finish their houses on the Mall. Here, the University of Texas at Austin team held a good old-fashioned "house raising." A house now stands where just two hours before, only a foundation was visible.
(Credit: David Crouch, Department of Energy)



Photo of the University of Missouri-Rolla and Rolla Technical Institute Solar Decathlon solar house under construction.

Similarly, the University of Missouri-Rolla and Rolla Technical Institute house, seen in the foreground, arrived at the National Mall in three pieces. In just a matter of hours, the team was able to reassemble the house, which is now far on its way to being complete.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of the University of Cornell Solar Decathlon solar house under construction.

Having their roof in place, a portion of the University of Cornell team turns their sites to cutting and installing siding for their solar house. The village was a flurry of activity all day long, with the sounds of any typical construction site filling the air.
(Credit: David Crouch, Department of Energy)



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October 1, 2005

Photo of the Pittsburgh Synergy Solar Decathlon solar house on the National Mall. The photo shows a tilted wall made of sheets of polycarbonate, a strong, insulating plastic that is embedded with glass beads.

The early morning sun shines on the translucent north wall of the Pittsburgh Synergy house (Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Art Institute). This tilted wall is made of sheets of polycarbonate, a strong, insulating plastic that is embedded with glass beads.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of Solar Decathlon Rules and Regulations official distinguished by his red shirt.

Recognized by his red Solar Decathlon "rules" shirt, Mike Wassmer discusses competition details with University of Colorado team leader. Mike, a member of the University of Colorado's 2002 team, is now chair of the 2005 Solar Decathlon Rules and Regulations committee, and is employed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of the Washington State University Decathlon solar house on the National Mall.

As early as yesterday, the Washington State University's house looked like a giant Styrofoam cooler. Constructed of a new type of structural insulated panel (SIP), the interior of the Washington State home is corrugated steel and the polystyrene is on the outside. But as is clear in this photo, the polystyrene now is in the process of being sheathed.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of the University of Michigan Decathlon solar house on the National Mall.

The University of Michigan's MiSo* (Modular Solar, Mass Produced and Marketed) house is one of the more uniquely shaped homes in the Solar Village. The MiSo is designed to be mass-produced to generate less waste. Today the MiSo house's complex technological systems are being wired, which might look like an electrician's nightmare, but the sophisticated systems will help the house perform exceptionally well.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of two electric cars on the National Mall as part of the 2005 Solar Decathlon.

Easily the least attractive structure on the National Mall, the Solar Decathlon headquarters nevertheless gets traffic as the "go to" place for any number of questions as can be seen by the line up of GEM vehicles. The GEM vehicles are powered by electricity generated by the solar houses and are used in the Getting Around contest.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid Solar Decathlon solar house on the National Mall.

Having traveled the farthest distance to reach the National Mall, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid team expected some difficulties, but the team's house sustained far worse damage during shipment than anticipated. The house needed to be repaired on site, and the team has been working three shifts per day to complete their home.
(Credit: Bob Burt)



Photo of the Texas state flag hanging on the University of Texas at Austin Solar Decathlon solar house on the National Mall.

The phrase, "Pride of ownership apparent" is heard often when buying a home. The same is true on the National Mall, and the students have begun showing their pride by hanging state and national flags. The University of Texas at Austin's Solar Decathlon SNAP House (Super Nifty Action Package) blends natural beauty with cutting edge technology as team members have found many ways to emphasize sustainable design.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth drilling a hole in the ground for electrical purposes as part of the 2005 Solar Decathlon.

Washington, D.C., has been experiencing an unusually dry fall, which has presented perfect construction weather for teams building their Solar Decathlon homes. But one dry weather problem for the teams has been in installing ground faults in dry, hardpan soil. Here a ground fault is being drilled for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth house, which, is being donated to Habitat for Humanity after its debut on the National Mall.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of the Crowder College Solar Decathlon solar house on the National Mall.

Every team now has its house on the National Mall! After experiencing major trailer failure (twice) and being routed from Neosho, MO, to Washington, D.C., along many secondary roads, the Crowder College Solar Decathlon home arrived two days late. But team members are making up for lost time and expect that their home will be ready for opening day.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



Photo of the California Polytechnic State University Solar Decathlon solar house on the National Mall.

California Polytechnic State University's Solar Decathlon entry traveled farther than any other American team. While this house, like many others in the competition, suffered some damage along the way, the damage has been corrected.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



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October 2, 2005

Photo of the Rhode Island School of Design walking to toward their 2005 Solar Decathlon solar house.

The RISD team rolls into the mall and heads toward their house early this morning to resume working after a short night of sleep.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of the University of Missouri Rolla students working on their Solar Decathlon house

University of Missouri-Rolla students install solar panels in a roof integrated system they designed themselves. Custom copper roof pans hold the thin film and the plumbing is integrated into the solar roof, heating water and generating electricity from the same square footage.
(Credit: Molly Miller, NREL)



Photo of CalPoly students installing an awning on their Solar Decathlon solar house.

CalPoly installs an awning on the front of their house. The awning is part of the team's passive solar design strategy. The awning keeps summer sun out and allows winter sun in, and serves as a platform for PV panels.
(Credit: Molly Miller, NREL)



Photo of two students installing cabinets on their 2005 Solar Decathlon house.

Architecture student Andrea Read (left), and Interior Design student Lindsay Mellum work on Washington State University's cabinets, made from Lyptus, a rapidly growing tree from Brazil. The team also incorporated parallel strand lumber beams, made from a composite of smaller saplings. WSU is the only team from the Northwest, and their design emphasizes conservation of timber, a major industry in their region.
(Credit: Molly Miller, NREL)



Photo of the Rhode Island School of Design Solar Decathlon house under construction.

Pieces of the RISD house are being constructed separately, and will come together as the week goes on.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of the 2005 Solar Decathlon solar village under construction.

As shifts of students work around the clock, often using a 12 hours on 12 hours off schedule, the construction progress is rapid. Curious onlookers pass through the village, walking on special flooring that protects the grass on the Mall. The houses are still taped off with caution tape, and visitors will have to come back when the competition officially opens in a few days.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



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October 3, 2005

Photo of man on bicycle in front of Capitol building at night.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Ray Anthony arrives at the solar village for his shift. Anthony is the nighttime safety officer for the event.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of seven students in hard hats sitting on stairs.

University of Texas at Austin team members confer late at night on their temporary stairs, a stack of structural insulated panels (SIPs), from which the walls of their house are made. The wall behind the team is made from reclaimed aluminum newspaper printing plates from the Daily Texan, the school paper. The plates from recent editions serve as a time capsule as well as an example of reclaimed material.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of house lit from inside.

The Canadian Solar Decathlon worked through the night to bring their decks and ramps into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)—a requirement of the competition. Canada's home is fully solar powered at this point in the assembly process. Small solar cells are integrated into the front window, pictured, which is stenciled with colorful maple leaves. During the day, the window generates electricity and transmits daylight, artfully splashing the colors of autumnal maple trees on to the entryway floor tiles.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of woman painting.

Michelle Hamilton, fifth year architecture student, does a late night paint touch up on California Polytechnic University's redwood screen. The screen, made from redwood harvested in Santa Cruz, California, just north of the CalPoly campus, has been certified as sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council. The screen will serve as a trellis and will extend into a sunshade of the same material on the south side of the home.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of men and electric vehicle.

Department of Energy's Dan Eberle, contest official for Contest 10 Getting Around, arrived at the Village main tent in a GEM electric vehicle.
(Credit: Molly Miller, NREL)



Photo of man speaking, woman looking on.

Competition director Richard King addresses representatives of each team at the morning meeting. Competition project manager Cécile Warner stands to his right. Each morning the organizers of the Solar Decathlon hold a 9 a.m. meeting in the main village tent to go over concerns and activities.
(Credit: Molly Miller, NREL)



Photo of man looking at instrument panel.

Paul Norton, part of the instrumentation team for NREL, installs voltage taps for measuring the electrical output of the PV systems.
(Credit: Ruby Nahan, NREL)



Photo of crane placing a building section.

The third and final piece of Rhode Island School of Design's home arrives and is lifted into place.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of the University of Michigan's partly finished home interior.

The interior of University of Michigan's home. Most teams are finishing their interiors at this point in their preparation for the competition.
(Credit: Evan Miller, The Abo Group)



Photo of the University of Michigan's home exterior.

A shell around University of Michigan's home provides a space between interior and exterior for air transfer.
(Credit: Evan Miller, The Abo Group)



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October 4, 2005

Photo of a house lit up at night.

Lights running along the tops of the exterior walls of the home of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University bounce light off the roof. The PV system on the roof raises and lowers to reside within the plane of the roof. The roof can also collect rain water.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of four men working under construction lights in a home.

Rhode Island School of Design's sliding glass wall provides a night time view of the team installing a thermal energy storage box. The box sits under the floor and is filled with 140 20x10x2 salt bricks also known as phase change materials. Copper tubing runs from the box to radiant heating tubes that run under the ceiling tiles.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of woman drilling at night near a construction light.

Danielle Pierananzi, University of Texas Sustainable Design major, drills a hole for the late night installation of a ceiling fan. A former film student, Danielle is collaborating with teammate and architecture student Sarah Hill on a documentary film about the building of the Texas Decathlon home.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of man standing in front of a TV screen at night.

Maryland architecture student John Bryant catches a quick break while team members run a late night test to determine the optimum position of their satellite TV dish, donated by a sponsor. The team also checked the TV's energy load. Save for many small touches, Maryland has completed assembly. The paint on the wall behind the TV is barely dry, and a warning sign is taped with blue painter's tape to the front door.
(Credit: Byron Stafford, NREL)



Photo of a woman sanding ceiling.

Najahyia Chinchilla, Maryland architecture student, prepares kitchen walls and ceiling for a layer of paint. Maryland's paint contains no volatile organic compounds. Energy efficient dimmable compact fluorescent bulbs will fit into the recessed light containers on the ceiling.
(Credit: Molly Miller, NREL)



Photo of two men lifting a large water hose.

NYIT team construction manager Jerry Stramowski right and Green Machine team leader Mike Catalano accept water from a water truck that delivered water to all the Decathlon homes on the Mall Tuesday. Water is particularly significant to NYIT because the house will be partially powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
(Credit: Molly Miller, NREL)



Photo of three women and plants on rooftop.

Victoria, Maria, and Carolina of Madrid work on integrating plants into the home's green roof. Flowering native plants on terraces and roofs are a Mediterranean tradition, and in this case the plants are part of a bioclimatic strategy, serving to cool the air around the rooftop PV panels and insulate the roof of the home's lounge.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of furniture stacked on the ground next to University of Massachusetts Dartmouth sign.

Furnishings are going into the homes a little at a time as assembly nears a final frenzied finish tonight. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth team partnered early on with Washington, D.C., Habitat for Humanity. Habitat arranged for Americorps volunteers to work on the house and ultimately the team will donate the house to Habitat.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of food bowls lined up on a wood structure.

The Rhode Island School of Design finds yet another use for their shade pavilion. The pavilion will shade visitors standing in line to tour their home, and will also hold exhibit materials and educational signage about the house.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



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October 5, 2005

Photo of sparks flying as man uses tool on railing at night.

A contractor, in safety gear, installs metal railings for Maryland's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant ramp. The contractor, Maryland Fabricators Inc, donated equipment, materials, and labor.
(Credit: Paul Norton, NREL)



Photo of a man and woman talking.

Tom Meyers, the competition's code inspector, discusses inspections with the Decathlon's fire marshal, also his wife, Michelle. All of the houses in the competition must pass code inspections as well as produce a viable fire safety plan.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Three people work in a garden.

Cornell students Alex Lovallo, Maki Uchida, and Marc Miller work to establish their team's ornamental and functional garden. The completely edible garden contains such varieties as broccoli, kale, artichokes, eggplant, basil, and rosemary, and will be the ingredients for team dinners throughout the competition.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of men working on a ramp, electric vehicle and Capitol in background.

California Polytechnic's general contractor Richard Beller and team member Austin Quig install wood and safety wires and on their ADA-compliant ramp.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of man painting outside trim.

University of Missouri architectural engineering student Nick Bristow paints trim on the team's house. The horizontal trim and horizontal banding throughout the house is meant to invoke the Prairie School of architecture.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of children walking.

Young students from the Smithsonian Enrichment Center explore the activity of the solar village as they traverse the Mall.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of woman painting beams brown.

Universidad de Puerto Rico Business Administration major Keyla Torres works to add earth tones and the occasional sky blue accents to the home's exterior room. The team chose tropical colors in homage to their island home.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of man and plants in small electric car.

The Canadian team's Adrian Amorer brings a delivery of plants in the school's electric vehicle. The vehicle is charged by the house.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of tents, houses, and walkways with signage.

The village is starting to lose the feel of a construction site. Opening ceremonies take place Thursday morning and dignitaries and sponsors will be showing up for private tours. Students will spend the night on final touches and clean up.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



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October 6, 2005

Photo of Secretary Bodman cutting ceremonial ribbon to open the 2005 Solar Decathlon.

Let the competition begin! U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman cuts the ribbon to open the solar village at the 2005 Solar Decathlon.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of students competing in the 2005 Solar Decathlon.

Here they are — the 2005 Solar Decathletes! Not even the misty Washington, D.C., morning can dampen their spirits. Eight days of tough competition are ahead.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of students celebrating the opening of the 2005 Solar Decathlon.

A little spirit, please. The team from Puerto Rico adds to the opening day festivities with flags, joyous songs, and tambourines. After all the hard work, it's great to see the students having so much fun.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of the 2005 University of Colorado Solar Decathlon house.

The University of Colorado house stands ready to receive visitors. In the inaugural Solar Decathlon competition in 2002, the Colorado team took home top honors.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of the University of Missouri-Rolla Solar Decathlon team.

University of Missouri-Rolla students hang around home, finally finding a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The home features many built-ins that play off the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of the 2005 Solar Decathlon village.

Pittsburgh's distinguishing feature is a completely translucent wall for daylighting, which can also serve as a projection surface. The Florida house, on the right, is built around a center courtyard. Modular walls and glass doors make it possible for the entire space, including the courtyard, to become one large room.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of the Washington State University's evacuated-tube collectors for the home's solar hot water system.

Washington State University team members show off their evacuated-tube collectors for the home's solar hot water system.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of the New York Institute of Technology's passive solar deign features.

The west side of the New York Institute of Technology's house shows off passive solar design features, operable windows that provide daylighting and breezes, overlooking the active solar system.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of the 2005 Solar Decathlon solar village.

The solar village is quiet today, but just wait until tomorrow. That's the first day the houses are open to the public.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



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October 7, 2005

Photo of a rainy day at the Solar Decathlon with the houses and U.S. Capitol in the background.

A rainy morning ushers in the first day of active competition at the Solar Decathlon.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of a man in a raincoat carrying a wet dog at the Solar Decathlon.

Many visitors, including both man and beast, came to see the houses despite the wet, gusty weather. The Virginia Tech house is in the background.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a small boy looks out the window of the Virginia Tech Solar Decathlon house.

Perhaps this little boy is a Solar Decathlete of the future. Here, he looks out the kitchen window of Virginia Tech's house, with a table casting the reflection.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a man visiting the Solar Decathlon and holding a blue and white umbrella imprinted with a large question mark.

The weather is the big question mark today. All are hoping the sunshine returns tomorrow.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a congressman from Texas talking with several students inside the University of Texas Solar Decathlon house.

Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas stops by to wish good luck to the University of Texas team.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of the Solar Decathlon house from Team Canada.

Team Canada proudly flies their flag, celebrating their entry in the Solar Decathlon.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of pots of flowers outside the University of Colorado Solar Decathlon house.

Many of the teams, including the one from the University of Colorado, are adding curb appeal by landscaping with pots of flowers.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of many Solar Decathlon students at a Solar Decathlon reception.

The teams from Spain and Puerto Rico spearheaded a songfest during a reception sponsored by the National Association of Homebuilders.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



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October 8, 2005

Photo of a group of people under umbrellas with houses and the Washington Monument in the background.

On this rainy Saturday at the Solar Decathlon, umbrellas are once again the order of the day. Hundreds of visitors come to see the houses in spite of the wet weather.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a man at a lectern with a video screen.

John Thornton of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory presents at a workshop titled "Solar Energy for the Homeowner." Free consumer workshops are offered throughout the run of the Decathlon.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a group of people with umbrellas looking in a home.

A student from the University of Colorado team encourages visitors to enter the home.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a group of people looking at roof system from inside the house.

A Colorado student points out the home's unique roof system to visitors. The roof can be jacked up or down two feet. This feature afforded the team an easier transport of the house from Colorado to Washington, D.C.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of young woman standing in the doorway of a house.

Natalie McDonald of the University of Missouri-Rolla and Rolla Technical Institute team awaits the House Tour panel of judges.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of three women and one man standing inside a house.

The House Tour panel of judges listen to Missouri students describe their home. The painting represents a mathematical sequence known as the Fibonacci Sequence, or Golden Ratio, which can be found in most shapes and patterns in nature, from pinecones to seashells. This concept guided the design of the home.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Alt tag: Photo of two men and one woman sitting in a living room.

The House Tour judges confer on the experience of visiting the Missouri home. Interacting with visitors and pointing out the home's features is one of the ten Decathlon contests.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



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October 9, 2005

Photo of thousands of people with the U.S. Capitol in the background.

An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people come to the Solar Decathlon today. They are curious about the houses and eager to listen to the students.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo looking through a window to another house.

From inside the New York Institute of Technology house, the University of Maryland house is nicely framed.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of five people sitting in a living room.

Members of the Architecture Jury discuss design features of the New York Institute of Technology house. The jurors spend 30 minutes at each house—20 minutes interacting with the students and 10 minutes in conference. No students are allowed inside during the latter session.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of six people in a line having their picture taken.

Lots of photographs are snapped at the Solar Decathlon. In this one, Decathlon Director Richard King takes a shot of the Architecture Jury.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a man and a woman standing and pointing at a solar electricity display.

There are many exhibits at the Decathlon, including this one of a grid-tied solar electric panel. Learning about solar energy has never been easier.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of ten people standing inside a living room.

In the living room of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth home, visitors listen carefully to this student's description of various features of the house. Questions are encouraged, and the students are excellent teachers.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of five people sitting around a table.

"Do Not Disturb. Jury Deliberations Underway." So reads the sign on the door where the Dwelling panel of judges deliberates.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Nine people leaning against a balcony railing.

The new and old Maryland teams meet on the balcony of University of Maryland house. 2005 Project Leader Rob Murray (second from left) and his counterpart from 2002, Alex Yasbeck (fourth from left), find they have much in common.
(Credit: Wendy Butler-Burt, Department of Energy)



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October 10, 2005

Photo of a group of students lining up to accept award from two people.

Solar Decathlon Director Richard King and Architecture Panel Juror Sarah Susanka present the first place award for the Architecture Contest to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of green light shining through a home's translucent walls at night, with Capitol in background.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, winner of both the Architecture and Dwelling Contests, uses light as a design feature. In addition to being fully powered by solar electricity, the home also has systems for collecting rainwater and gray water for planting beds outside the house.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a person behind a translucent sliding room divider.

California Polytechnic State University took second place in both the Architecture Contest and the Dwelling Contest. Jurors on the Dwelling panel praised the house for its simplicity and elegant divisions of interior space.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of people reading exhibit panels in front of a home.

Visitors to CalPoly's home get a preview of its features on the educational panels outside the home. A panel of Communications jurors evaluated how well the teams communicate with the public about their homes.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of two children reclining on a couch.

Young visitors to University of Texas, Austin's house get comfortable. Texas tied wiith New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) for third in the Dwelling Contest. Dwelling judges evaluate the livabiltity of the homes.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of set table and interior of a home.

University of Texas installed mesquite floors in their home. Stones on the kitchen table spell out SNAP. The team named the house SNAP house because the pieces of the home snap together.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of home lit up at night.

NYIT demonstrates solar power at night. NYIT tied with Cornell University for third place in the Architecture Contest.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of home with gardens in front.

Architecture jurors were impressed with the way Cornell incorporated kitchen gardens into the home's sustainability strategies.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



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October 11, 2005

Photo of a student loading a dishwasher and another holding folded towels.

Pittsburgh Synergy prepares to participate in activities for the Appliances Contest. In the Appliances Contest, students must perform a variety of energy consuming activities, including washing and drying 12 towels for 2 days and cleaning dishes using a dishwasher for 4 days.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of school kids holding a compact fluorescent light bulb.

Students examine a compact fluorescent light bulb at the University of Texas house. The Solar Decathlon's School Day brought about 450 students, ranging from third graders to high school students, to see the Decathlon houses and exhibits.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a sign on an interior wall; visitor lingers in background.

Communications jurors were impressed with Pittsburgh's logo and signage. Results from the Communications Contest were announced today, with University of Colorado taking first place.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of children, inside a home, clapping along to a tambourine player.

Universidad de Puerto Rico invited students from School Day into their home. Puerto Rico placed second in the Communications Contest in part for using effective techniques for public tours, such as playing drums and singing for visitors waiting in line to enter the house.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of man looking at an interior window.

Canadian Minister of Environment Stéphane Dion paid a visit to the Canadian team's home today. The home features a PV window complete with maple leaves.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a woman standing by a table stacked with towels labeled Solar Decathlon.

Decathlon Project Manager Cecile Warner distributes towels to students competing in the Appliances Contest. Organizers weigh towels before and after students wash and dry the towels to be sure the towels are fully dry.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of raindrops on a PV array.

A rain covered PV array on the University of Michigan house. The weather has presented persistent challenges for solar energy generation in the solar village.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a dog sleeping near PV panels.

The New York Institute of Technology team's dog, Zero—as in zero energy house—hangs around her team's home, taking occasional naps next to the PV panels.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



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October 12, 2005

Photo of man speaking at podium.

Lighting Panel judge Howard Brandston of the lighting design firm Brandston Partnership Inc., announces the winners of the Lighting Contest. Judges evaluated both daylighting and electric lighting.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of 16 team members and three judges in front of podium.

Winners of the Daylighting portion of the Lighting Contest gather for a photo. University of Maryland and University of Texas tied for third place. California Polytechnic State University took second place and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University won the contest.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of person writing and two people looking at equipment in home.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth works with the contest's Instrumentation Team, nicknamed iPod, to gather data for the Comfort Zone Contest. Decathletes closed their houses to the public today in order to simulate temperature and humidity conditions of a typical home containing about four people, rather than hundreds of visitors.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of two people looking at equipment in home.

Decathlon's Instrumentation team takes temperature and humidity readings for the Comfort Zone Contest.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a man and a long camera boom.

The DIY Network films the competition daily.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of two women driving an electric vehicle.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth students log some miles on their electric vehicle, which is charged by their house. The team that logs the most miles during the competition wins the Getting Around Contest.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of people eating dinner by candlelight in a garden.

Rhode Island School of Design serves dinner on their rooftop garden in candle light. To earn points in the Appliances Contest teams cook and serve meals to contest officials for four days. The RISD students provide nice lighting during the day as well, according to the Lighting Panel, which awarded them first place in the Electric Lighting portion of the Lighting Contest. Virginia tied with RISD for first.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



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October 13, 2005

Photo of people lined up on the deck of a home.

Despite the drizzly weather, crowds of people line up to tour Florida International University's solar home, which is built around a courtyard. Sliding glass doors open to allow the home to become one large indoor/outdoor room.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of people crowding around a tour giver inside a home.

A tour guide from Florida International's team shows visitors around the interior of the home, named Engawa, a Japanese term that describes space that is both inside and outside.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of people walking by a house.

Just after the houses closed to the public for the day, visitors to the Mall check out Crowder College's Arts & Crafts style solar home.
(Credit: Molly Miller, NREL)



Photo of a tour being conducted inside a house.

A Crowder team member shows a public tour around the interior of the home. Flooring, trim and cabinetry in the house is made from hardwood from the Pioneer Forest in the Ozarks.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of people lined up outside a home.

Long lines form outside Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's house, known as Magic Box. Madrid's home is clad in clay tile and incorporates a collapsible interior courtyard, a green roof, and a sun dial.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of students hugging and smiling.

Madrid students react to the announcement of awards for the Documentation Contest in which they placed second. For this contest, jurors evaluate the quality of the teams' documentation of all stages of their projects, including the design process for the homes and energy systems.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a boy looking at a home's battery bank.

A visitor to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute of Technology is amazed to see the battery bank which stores the home's solar energy. The home's batteries charge the team's electric car, visible in the reflection.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of two people, one with a camera boom, driving an electric vehicle next to another electric vehicle with a driver and passenger.

The DIY Network films Maryland students as they work to acquire points in the Getting Around Contest.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



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October 14, 2005

Photo of a group of students smiling and clapping.

Following a seesaw battle for the number one place during the last two days of the competition, University of Colorado team members react to the announcement that they are the winners of the 2005 Solar Decathlon.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of students driving and students standing on the runner boards of an electric vehicle.

Colorado's winning strategy was to score extra points by getting the most possible miles out of their electric car. They drove 318 miles during the competition, using a steady foot on the accelerator and going easy on the brakes.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of student walking away from podium to join team members.

Cornell University accepts their second place overall award for the 2005 Solar Decathlon from DOE's Under Secretary of Energy David Garman.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of student at podium giving thumbs up sign with team members behind him.

The Cal Poly team accepts their award for third place overall in the 2005 Solar Decathlon in front of Colorado's house.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a line of electric vehicles heading down the Mall toward the Capitol building.

In celebration of the close of the competition, the teams take a final lap around the National Mall in their electric vehicles. The last lap is worth five points toward the Getting Around Contest.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of electric car, with Canadian flag flying, carrying a group of students.

The Canadian Solar Decathlon team takes a last lap around the National Mall. The DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office and the National Association of Homebuilders recognized the team with a first-place plaque for building the most energy-efficient house. The prize also includes sending two students to the International Builders' Show in Orlando, Florida, in January 2006.
(Credit: Virginia M. Cahill)



Photo of a group of students accepting a plaque.

University of Texas accepts a plaque recognizing the team for building the third most energy-efficient home at the Decathlon. Texas also scored the most points for indoor air quality and solar hot water heating.
(Credit: Virginia M. Cahill)



Photo of people driving electric vehicle and people with a guitar and flute walking beside the car.

The Madrid team brings live music to the last lap.
(Credit: Virginia M. Cahill)



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October 15, 2005

Photo of the solar village with big blue sky.

Today is the solar village's first day without rain, drizzle or fog in over a week.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of sun dial with brilliant sun overhead.

The sun dial outside the home of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid finally cast a shadow today.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of many people moving through the sunny solar village.

The competition is over, but public tours continue through Sunday.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a crowd outside a door.

Long lines form outside Rhode Island School of Design, and all of the solar houses, as the public takes advantage of the fine weather to explore the solar village.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of man with microphone interviewing man with Decathlon shirt.

The Solar Decathlon continues to attract media attention.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of two children drinking juice in a deck chair.

Visitors to Cal Poly take advantage of the home's sun deck for some refreshments.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a woman playing the guitar on a porch, Solar Decathlon sign in background.

A Crowder student brings some music to people awaiting house tours.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



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October 16, 2005

Photo of people touring the interior of a house.

Public tours of the solar homes continue. The teams begin disassembly of their homes Sunday night.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of people standing in line outside a house.

Visitors line up to see the Cornell house, the second place finisher in the Solar Decathlon.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of people standing in line outside a house.

Visitors stand in line to see Colorado's house the winner of the Solar Decathlon.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of people gathered around the exterior of a mechanical room.

A New York Institute of Technology student explains how his team's hydrogen fuel cell powers the NYIT house.
(Credit: Richard King, Department of Energy)



Photo of signatures on an exterior wall.

Florida International University decathletes sign their house as they prepare for the end of their stay in Washington, DC.
(Credit: Susan Moon, NREL)



Photo of people and children holding plants in a garden.

Cornell students give away their edible garden one plant at a time as they prepare to disassemble their home.
(Credit: Ruby Nahan, NREL)



Photo of trophy and sunflower, CU logo on shirt in background.

University of Colorado takes home the biggest trophy from the 2005 Decathlon.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



Photo of a banner about the Solar Decathlon, with solar village and visitors to the National Mall in background.

The Solar Decathlon concludes today. The next Decathlon will be held in 2007.
(Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon)



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