Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A new neighborhood on the National Mall

The National Mall in Washington, DC, is now home to a solar village of energy efficient homes -- at least for the next few days.

The Department of Energy is hosting its fourth Solar Decathlon, a competition in which teams of college and university students compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar powered house.

Teams are competing in categories that include best architecture, engineering, market viability, and net energy use. And water is a theme among most. From California's "xeriscape" landscaping that uses no supplemental water to UW-Milwaukee's water harvesting roof design, efficient water use is a key design component.

While California currently holds the lead, and UW-Milwaukee is far behind, judging continues. The overall winner will be announced this Friday, October 16th.

Brief videos of each team's entry can be found on the Solar Decathlon's You Tube channel: