The DC chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC) has awarded WaterShed, the University of Maryland’s winning entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011, the Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design at this Year’s Washington Chapter Design Awards. Jon Penndorf, President of AIA|DC, made the announcement at an awards presentation on September 28, 2012.
“It’s a thrill to be recognized by the AIA|DC chapter,” said Brian Grieb, Project Manager for WaterShed. “This time last year we had just won the Solar Decathlon, so this is a nice reminder of all the hard work that went into the project.”
"One of our goals in creating WaterShed was to show that all design must and can be sustainable design," said Amy Gardner, WaterShed's principal investigator. "Being recognized for our efforts is an incredible honor."
The AIA|DC Chapter Awards Program honors projects in architecture, interior design and historic resources that demonstrate excellence in design within the Washington, DC area. The Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design is a special commendation that recognizes projects that are not only beautiful, but that adhere to sustainable design principals. WaterShed was selected from a pool of 214 entries. Its use of renewable materials, energy efficient systems and a thoughtful ecological footprint made it a stand out project.
“How can you not give WaterShed an award for its sustainability?” said AIA|DC President Jon Penndorf. “This project is a model of sustainable living and, being a student design, it shows green problem solving by the youngest of our profession.”
WaterShed wowed jurors and the public alike last fall at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011. The energy-efficient solar home, inspired by the Chesapeake Bay, took the overall win as well as first-place prizes in the architecture, energy balance and hot water contests. Electric service provider Pepco purchased WaterShed this past February. The company plans to use the solar home as a public educational tool and research development center in Rockville, MD.
“This is a terrific achievement for so many reasons,” said David Cronrath, Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. “It celebrates the talented, collaborative spirit of the WaterShed team, demonstrates to the industry the beauty and possibility of sustainable design and serves as inspiration for our budding architecture students. I could not be more proud of this project.”