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Photo of Communications jurors listening and taking pictures as two University of Louisiana at Lafayette team members speak. In front of the group is a wooden bench with integrated signs.

The Solar Decathlon 2009 Communications Jury inspects exterior signage on a visit to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette house.

Solar Decathlon 2009


The panel of judges and jurors assembled to evaluate the 20 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009 teams and their houses is composed of individuals at the top of their professions. Renowned in their fields of study, they bring academic excellence and practical, in-the-field expertise to each of the 10 contests. Their involvement in the Solar Decathlon will help advance energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the world.

Using objective and subjective measures to evaluate the team houses, the jurors assign points for every contest that determine each team's overall score and standing.


Photo of Kevin Burke.

Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke works closely with William McDonough to give form to the eco-effective design principles on an array of project types and scales at William McDonough + Partners. He served as co-designer on several of the projects that have become known as milestones in American sustainable design. His approach is driven by his keen interest in place-making through integrated design solutions. Burke currently manages the 40-person practice, which opened a second studio in San Francisco in 2006. He is a key design leader, heading teams on Fuller Theological Seminary's Worship Center and Library, the American University School of International Service, and VMware Corporate Headquarters, among other projects. Burke lectures widely about eco-effective design and cradle-to-cradle thinking as the backdrop for the firm's architecture and its work on guidelines, master plans, and other frameworks. Burke is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Photo of .Jonathan Knowles

Jonathan Knowles

Jonathan Knowles is an assistant professor of architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He has been teaching at RISD since 2001 and was project director for RISD's 2005 Solar Decathlon entry. He has initiated a pilot project with the Department of Engineering at Brown University to conduct research into new forms of thermal electric systems. Knowles has taught at the Parsons School of Design, Cornell University, and Columbia University. He is also a practicing architect and passive house consultant in New York City, where he is a partner at Briggs Knowles Studio. The work of the firm has been published in several venues, including the New York Times and Dwell magazine. He is currently overseeing the design and construction of two net-zero homes in New England. His degrees, a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts, are from RISD.

Photo of Sarah Susanka.

Sarah Susanka

Sarah Susanka is the leader of a movement that is redefining the American home and lifestyle. Through her "build better, not bigger" approach to residential design, she teaches that the sense of "home" we seek has almost nothing to do with quantity and everything to do with quality. She is the author of eight best-selling books, including The Not So Big House, Home by Design, and The Not So Big Life. In March 2009, Taunton Press published Not So Big Remodeling, in which Susanka shows readers how to remodel in a not so big way, making a house more functional, inspiring, and more sustainable. Her books have sold more than 1 million copies. Susanka is regularly tapped for her expertise by national media, including "The Today Show," CNN, and The New York Times. In January, Builder magazine recognized Susanka as one of 30 innovators in housing over the past 30 years. She is a senior fellow of the Design Futures Council and resides in North Carolina.


Photo of Richard Bourne.

Richard Bourne

Richard Bourne is in "semi-retirement" as a half-time manager at the Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) at UC Davis, where he is responsible for retailer affiliate relationships and major research projects to reduce the cost of large radiant floor cooling systems. Bourne has served as director of WCEC, principal of Davis Energy Group Inc., and owner and manager of Solar Concept Development Co. Bourne has been a registered mechanical engineer since 1978. He has been a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) since 1975 and served as a chairman on the Radiant Heating and Cooling Committee from 1988 to 1990. As part of his work, he has presented more than 150 special lectures, workshops, and technical papers on energy topics and has 20 United States patents.

Photo of David Click.

David Click

David Click is an alumnus of the 2002 Solar Decathlon and the University of Virginia, where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering. He then worked for three years at Solar Design Associates near Boston on residential and commercial projects, including a 600-kW system on a warehouse roof and the 120-kW photovoltaic systems installed at the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park. Now working for the Florida Solar Energy Center, he helps lead a week-long training course for aspiring solar contractors. He also serves as project support director, working with an affordable housing developer and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (among others) on solar power and energy efficiency projects throughout Florida. Click also serves as a U.S. Department of Energy Tiger Team lead for several Solar America projects, including the City of Orlando and two showcases. He and his wife, Barrie, are the proud owners of a new 5.4-kW grid-tied photovoltaic thermal system.

Photo of Ted Prythero.

Ted Prythero

Ted Prythero is a principal in the Denver office of M-E Engineers, an international mechanical and electrical consulting engineering firm. Prior to M-E Engineers, he was a principal with Engineering Economics and a partner in ENSAR Group, a sustainability consulting firm. He has more than 30 years of experience in the design of HVAC systems, with an emphasis on energy conservation and applying innovative and alternative energy systems to buildings. Prythero also has extensive experience in energy management/control systems and energy analysis and has taught energy conservation seminars to design professionals. His interest has been working with other design team members to make more efficient envelopes and incorporate solar features into buildings. He has been involved in numerous exemplary energy-conserving buildings. He has received multiple awards, ranging from the U.S. Department of Energy's Innovation in Energy award to the American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado's Engineering Excellence award. Prythero obtained a Bachelor of Science in engineering at Purdue University.

Market Viability

Photo of James Ketter.

James Ketter

James Ketter is the engineering manager for GF Development, an arm of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Durango, Colorado. He has extensive management experience in commercial and residential planning, design, construction, and operations and is a staunch advocate for sustainable communities. His current work includes the Three Springs project in Durango, a 2,000-unit, mixed-use, sustainably constructed traditional neighborhood development project. Ketter earned a mechanical engineering degree from Ohio State University, is a registered professional engineer, a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council, and member of the American Solar Energy Society. Ketter was a founding board member of the Durango Discovery Museum, a planned science and energy museum showcasing energy past, present, and future to be housed in the world's oldest-known surviving AC steam power plant.

Photo of Joyce Mason.

Joyce Mason

Joyce Mason markets new home communities for Pardee Homes, one of the nation's most prominent multi-regional builders. She developed Pardee's LivingSmart® brand to promote energy and water savings, indoor air quality, and use of earth-friendly building materials. A member of the Building Industry Institute Advisory Board for California Green Builder, Mason earned The State of California Earth award for Pardee's LivingSmart neighborhoods and habitat preservation in San Diego. Pardee Homes has received numerous sustainability awards, including the National Association of Home Builders' Green Builder of the Year award, several Sustainable Community of the Year awards, and recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and other local and regional agencies. She also devotes time to HomeAid. On its behalf, she coordinated display of a Pardee-built playhouse at the National Building Museum to teach children about green building.

Photo of Paul Waszink.

Paul Waszink

Paul Waszink is a construction cost consultant who specializes in the development of independent cost opinions via personal-attention investigative scope verification, quantity surveying, cost analyses, and related services for real estate development projects. As part of his job, he develops project budgets and cost estimates; provides peer review of construction cost estimates; offers project management at the sub-consultant, pre-construction, and course-of-construction phases of a project; works as a party appraiser in insurance settlement disputes; and provides training for groups and agencies about project funding budgets, cost planning, and monitoring.

Lighting Design

Photo of Nancy Clanton.

Nancy Clanton

Nancy Clanton is founder and president of Clanton & Associates, a lighting design firm that specializes in sustainable design. She obtained her Bachelor of Science (in architectural engineering with an illumination emphasis) from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a registered professional engineer. Clanton is chairperson of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America's (IESNA's) Outdoor Environmental Lighting Committee and the Mesopic Committee and is a past member of the boards of directors of the International Association of Lighting Designers and the IESNA. Clanton is currently a member of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Group. She was a topic editor for the IESNA Lighting Handbook, and her committee was responsible for the production of the IESNA Recommended Practice on Lighting for the Exterior Environment. Her firm has authored the lighting criteria for the Department of Defense Unified Facilities Criteria, the Colorado Department of Transportation Lighting Design Guide, and the exterior sections of California's Title 24 2008 energy code.

Photo of Ron Kurtz.

Ron Kurtz

Ron Kurtz has been with Randy Burkett Lighting Design since 1990. His responsibilities as a lighting designer and project manager include the development of conceptual design, which involves the determination of both aesthetic and technical requirements, the preparation of contract documents and specifications, and construction phase coordination and field observation. His lighting design experience includes three years with Grenald Associates Ltd. in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Kurtz is an active member of the International Association of Lighting Designers, serves on the Sustainability Committee, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He is also involved in the IESNA on local and national levels and participates on the Energy Management Committee. He is a member of ASHRAE's 90.1 Energy Standards Committee and has been a speaker on a number of lighting topics at professional and educational conferences.

Photo of Naomi Miller.

Naomi Miller

Naomi Miller is the principal of Naomi Miller Lighting Design in Troy, New York. Lighting quality, the aging eye, health effects of light, dark skies, sustainability, and energy efficiency are her passions. She has many years of experience working in different facets of the lighting industry but finds lighting to be an ever-advancing field with creative challenges. More than 30 lighting design awards hang on her wall. She earned an undergraduate degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in lighting degree from Rensselaer. She chaired the IESNA Quality of the Visual Environment committee for eight years and was a principal member of the writing team for Light + Design: A Guide to Designing Quality Lighting for People and Buildings. She is a fellow of the IESNA, fellow of the International Association of Lighting Designers, and member of the Lighting Research Office's Technical Advisory Committee.


Photo of Maureen McNulty.

Maureen McNulty

Maureen McNulty manages D&R's outreach on behalf of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-administered program that works to speed the development and adoption of advanced building technologies. Before joining D&R, McNulty worked as an independent communications and marketing consultant and marketing director for an electronic communications firm. She also has six years of experience in program administration for an education association and several years as an account executive in public relations and marketing agencies. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Art from Agnes Scott College.

Photo of Jaime Van Mourik.

Jaime Van Mourik

As the higher education sector manager at the U.S. Green Building Council, Jaime Van Mourik guides colleges and universities through the green building planning process and the implementation of the LEED Green Building Rating System. In this role, she directs the development of tools and resources for the sector and maintains customer relations for the council's portfolio program. Prior to joining the U.S. Green Building Council, Van Mourik worked as a project manager at GreenShape, a sustainable design consulting firm, assisting more than 30 projects pursuing LEED certification. From 2002 to 2007, she worked at the National Building Museum developing, implementing, and managing educational programs about the built environment for an adult audience. Van Mourik is an active member of the building industry community, serves on the American Institute of Architects Washington, D.C., Inter-School Design Competition Committee, and is an Associate American Institute of Architects member and LEED Accredited Professional. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech and a Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia.

Photo of Alan Wickstrom.

Alan Wickstrom

Alan Wickstrom is the president and CEO of BuildingOnline Inc., a Web site design and Internet marketing agency devoted to the residential and commercial building products industries. BuildingOnline designed and hosts more than 120 of the industry's leading Web sites, offers a building industry search engine and Web site directory, and manages BuildingOnline's eUpdate, a building industry newsfeed service. He has 20 years of business marketing experience in these industries as well as 14 years of Internet marketing and design experience. Wickstrom has a bachelor's degree in marketing from National University, San Diego. He is an accomplished speaker on the Internet and in the building industry. Wickstrom is an active Rotarian, serves on the board of the Italian American Opera Foundation, and served as the foundation president of the South Orange County School of the Arts until June 2009.