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Photo of a man inspecting a small crack between a photovoltaic array and a wooden trim piece. He is wearing a hard hat with "Chris Black" written on it. Construction can be seen in the background.

Team Ontario/BC member Chris Black inspects a detail in a photovoltaic array on his team's North House during the construction phase of Solar Decathlon 2009.

Solar Decathlon 2009


(100 points)

The houses are marvels of modern engineering, and this contest "checked under the hood." A jury of professional engineers evaluated each house for functionality, efficiency, innovation, and reliability. It considered:

  • Functionality—Will the home's energy systems function as intended?

  • Efficiency—Relative to conventional systems, how much energy will the house's systems save over the course of a year?

  • Innovation—Were any unique approaches used to solve design challenges? Do the proposed innovations have true market potential?

  • Reliability—How long are the systems expected to operate at a high level of performance? How much maintenance is required to keep them operating at a high level?