Solar Decathlon

University of Maryland's House
Maryland’s House. Photo credit: Stefano Paltera / Solar Decathlon

The 2005 Solar Decathlon took place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., October 7-16th 2005. The event featured 18 collegiate teams from across the U.S, Canada, Puerto Rico and Spain.
The teams designed, built, operated and monitored small super-efficient solar homes. The Sun’s energy powered day-to-day activities- including driving around in electric cars.

CU's North Rendering The Univeristy of Colorado created a
‘Petroleum Alternative’ Building System called The BioS(h)IP. This building is a Net Zero Energy Home (NZEH) that makes use of what I would call high-tech natural building materials. The Colorado team unveiled the innovative new product called called BIO-SIPs, a biobased structural insulated panels. Net Zero Energy buildings create as much energy as they use on an annual basis. All of these buildings were off the grid, so they would have to create all the power needed for consumption. The BioS(h)IP will find a permanent home in the Solar Village, part of the Prospect New Town housing development, in Longmont, Colorado.

I’m glad to see students have created housing that can be powered by clean renewable energy. After all, the large constant nuclear explosion 887,000,000 miles away happens to power our solar system… why not our house hold appliances? I can’t wait to see what they come up with in 2007.