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Photo showing the 20 houses of the solar village taken from on high at the Washington Monument. Photo of a house lit up at night.

The Lighting Jury commented that they enjoyed the glow that Maryland's lighting provided to the outside of the house at night, which highlighted the external structure of the house and PV system.

Photo of an outdoor scene with nine people standing behind a table.

The Darmstadt team was pleased to pick up their second-place award in the subjective portion of the Lighting contest. Their house with its distinctive louvers can be seen in the background.

Solar Decathlon 2007

Daily Journal - October 17, 2007

Maryland Keeps Lead with Lighting Contest Victory

After placing second in the Architecture contest and first in Communications, the University of Maryland team got off to a strong start. Today held more good news for them, as Maryland won the subjective portion of the Lighting contest and maintained the first-place position overall.  Maryland is now 20 points ahead of Darmstadt in second place, with Penn State and Georgia Tech in third and fourth places, respectively.

The teams gathered at 10:00 a.m. this morning for today's big announcement: the jury results for the Lighting contest, which is worth a maximum of 75 points. Points are awarded based on the elegance and quality of the lighting design during day and night. The objective portion of this contest, worth 25 points, measures lighting levels inside the house throughout the competition week. These results will be announced on Friday.

All three of the Lighting jurors, Nancy Clanton, Naomi Miller, and Sandra Stashik, were on hand for the awards ceremony. "We were so impressed with what everyone did with their daylighting and electric lighting," said Stashik, who presented the awards. "We had a strong sense that you developed integrated lighting plans that worked both day and night."

The placings are:

University of Maryland: 1st place - 72.75 points
Technische Universität Darmstadt: 2nd place - 70.5 points
Team Montréal: 3rd place - 69.25 points

Some comments from the jury follow:

Maryland—This team has a beautifully integrated daylighting design—and the views are excellent. There is nice detailing and layering with the lighting design and the uplighting in the skylight is great. We saw great lighting controls for both daylighting and the electric lighting system, and the team was able to successfully manipulate the system. We appreciate how Maryland treated each space in the house differently according to the intended use of the space.

Darmstadt—"I love the way this house glows," said one juror. The transparency is wonderful and there are great views from everywhere in the house. Every space in the house is daylit, including the bathroom. The team successfully used a very complicated control system to maintain quality lighting conditions during both daylight and nighttime periods. The use of high-end lighting fixtures contributes to the success of the electric lighting design. LEDs are integrated creatively into the shelving.

Team Montréal—The views of the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building are stellar," said a juror. The glowing yellow wall is a striking feature, and the lighting in the bathroom is among the best in the solar village. The vertical lighting feature on the north bedroom wall is a very nice feature. We feel this team put a lot of effort into investigating many different lighting design strategies and then selected a strategy based on their findings.

After five days of competition, the teams are extremely close. Maryland is ahead of Darmstadt by only 20 points, and Penn State is only 11 points behind Darmstadt. And Georgia Tech is in fourth and only three points behind Penn State. Other close competitions within the overall scoring are Texas, NYIT, and Montreal, who are in 5th, 6th, and 7th places, respectively, but have only four points of separation among them! Cornell, Santa Clara, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois, and Puerto Rico are in 9th through 14th places, respectively, but have only 12 points of separation!

An interesting "behind the scenes" story is how a university from the 2005 Decathlon, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), is contributing to the 2007 event in a unique way. Faculty advisor Jonathan Knowles and 12 RISD students form the observer corps at this year's Decathlon. The observers' job mostly involves the Appliances contest. They monitor the dishwasher test, washer and dryer test, boiling of water to a set temperature, and make sure that the computer and TV are turned on at the correct times.

Knowles felt that RISD might benefit from "taking a pass" in 2007 and targeting the 2009 event, but he wanted to stay involved this year. So the Decathlon gained a dedicated, knowledgeable observer group, and Knowles hopes the hands-on Decathlon experience will help his team write a winning proposal and "season" them for the next event.

"If selected, we plan to build the house a year early so we can test it out. I hope these students with me this year will be around in 2009, because they have lived the event and know what to expect," said Knowles.