Students designing for the future

Students designing for the future

If young people are the future, then who better to design for the future. For the fifth year, the U.S. State Department of Energy is sponsoring the Solar Decathlon. Twenty international college student teams compete with each other to build solar powered homes. Energy efficiency is only part of the goal. The homes must also be attractive, affordable, and sustainable. Basically, a home for the masses. Solar Decathlon guidelines:

  • Is affordable, attractive, and easy to live in
  • Maintains comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions
  • Supplies energy to household appliances for cooking, cleaning, and entertainment
  • Provides adequate hot water
  • Produces as much or more energy than it consumes.
[caption id="attachment_426" align="aligncenter" width="535" caption="The 2009 Solar Decathlon at the National Mall. Photo: Richard King, courtesy of Metropolis magazineMetro"][/caption] According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the teams spend nearly two years designing and building their homes. [caption id="attachment_427" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Penn. State 2009 team home, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_428" align="aligncenter" width="345" caption="University of Missouri-Columbia 2009 team home, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy"][/caption] Competing this year... To follow the competition, click here.