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University of Maryland team members review their scores at the 2007 Solar Decathlon.

Solar Decathlon 2007

Contests and Scoring

Just like the well-known Olympic decathlon, the Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests. But the Solar Decathlon centers on all of the ways in which we use energy in our daily lives—at work, at home, and at play.

To compete, the teams must design and build energy-efficient homes that are powered exclusively by the sun. The homes must be attractive and easy to live in. They must maintain a comfortable temperature, provide attractive and adequate lighting, power household appliances for cooking and cleaning, power home electronics, and provide hot water. These houses must also power an electric vehicle to meet household transportation needs.

Some contests are scored by measuring performance, such as meeting certain temperature requirements. Others require the successful completion of tasks. Some contests are scored by jurors who are experts in architecture, engineering, and other appropriate fields. The jurors evaluate things that measurements cannot, such as aesthetics and comfort. Some contests are scored by a combination of these methods.

Below are the 10 Solar Decathlon Contests for 2007: