A team of University of Maryland students, faculty and mentors has earned one of 20 coveted spots in the international U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 to be staged on the National Mall next year.
For the Decathlon, the Maryland team is constructing a house to run on solar power, as well as harness wind, rain and the building’s wastes. Its features include an edible wall.
The biennial competition challenges students and faculty to design and build a house fully and creatively powered by the sun.
It’s the fourth time a Terp team has made it to the finals. In 2007, Maryland’s LEAFHouse entry led all U.S. designs and captured second in the competition.
“This year’s conceptual design, WaterShed, begins where LEAFHouse left off,” says Amy Gardner, associate professor of architecture and principal investigator for Maryland’s Solar Decathlon 2011 effort.
WaterShed, strives to create a mini-eco-system, that efficiently captures and fully utilizes the energy of sun, wind and rain, as well as household ‘wastes’ that retain valuable energy and nutritional resources.
The house is formed by two rectangular units capped by a butterfly roof, which is well-suited to capturing and using sunlight and rainwater.
The spacious and affordable house features:
- A rooftop photovoltaic array;
- An edible green wall and garden;
- Innovative, smart technologies to control temperature, ventilation, humidity, and light;
- Building and finish materials that are beautiful, sustainable, cost-effective and durable.
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