COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland's innovative WaterShed House has taken first place at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. The announcement was delivered by US Energy Secretary Steven Chu Saturday afternoon in front of a packed tent of students, sponsors and supporters.
“There are lots of tears of joy and relief,” said Architecture Team Leader Leah Davies. “We are all so proud of the thought and hard work put into WaterShed, and really excited that our message was viewed in such a positive way.”
Consistently leading the pack throughout the competition, WaterShed finished with a 20 point lead over the second place winner, Purdue. New Zealand’s entry, First Light, came in third.
See the judge's official scores here.
The student and faculty-built home, which blends solar energy efficiency and water conservation, was recognized by the jury for its beauty, its sustainability message through design and “impeccable” performance in measured contests.
"The innovation, creativity, skill, vision, cooperation, determination, and, yes, energy displayed by this team is both remarkable and a joy," says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "I couldn't be more proud of their work and accomplishment. These students, faculty and mentors have dedicated themselves to addressing critical needs of Maryland, the nation, and other countries. They're the perfect example of what a public research university is all about."
Visitors can still see the 19 participating homes during the final day of the Solar Decathlon, this Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5:30p.m. Tours are free and open to the public. The Decathlon’s Solar Village is located in Washington, D.C.'s West Potomac Park.
The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland is home to four academic disciplines: architecture, urban planning, historic preservation and real estate development. Committed to educating its students and community about the importance of sustainability and smart growth, the School practices an interdisciplinary approach to education, research, creative work, and community and professional service. For more information, please e-mail us or call 301.405.8000.
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