Solar Decathlon Kicks Off Tomorrow in D.C.

Decathlon, a U.S. Department of Energy initiative, is well under way, with solar power innovators scrambling to get their projects ready for the competition. This year the event takes place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., between tomorrow (23) and October 2.

The biennial program started in 2002 and it challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy efficient and attractive. The winner will impress with affordability, consumer appeal, design excellence, optimal energy production and efficiency.

Yesterday Living Light announced on its blog that it was the first team to complete all of its site and building expectations to quality for the competition. “With all inspections passed, we were finally able to remove our safety gear on our site and enjoy the porch for a few hours after an exhausting, yet satisfying week”, they wrote.

Team member (‘decathlete’) Steven Shepherd highlighted the importance of good planning. “From transporting the house in one single volume, to assembly practice and packing strategies, our pre-emptive actions made the entire assembly process much easier”, he said.

For the first in the history of the program it has been joined by a team from outside the U.S. First Light travelled from Victoria University in New Zealand with a team of 25 students who are supervised and supported by university staff. The name was inspired by the fact that New Zealand is the place in the world on which the sun rises first.

Visit the official Decathlon website to stay updated.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

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