This morning the final results of the Solar Decathlon were announced. As expected, Technische Universität Darmstadt, aka Team Germany, took first prize. This is Team Germany’s second straight victory. In the net metering contest, the team gained almost thirteen more points than the next closest team, Illinois, which solidified the victory. Although the Popular Choice award will be released later this weekend, the competition is officially over. Make sure to check out all 20 Solar Decathlon homes from 2009 — they’re beautiful and inspirational. Here are the results (updated with Popular Choice later):
Check out this incredible new fan from Dyson called the Air Multiplier. It's unlike any fan you've ever seen — the Air Multiplier has no blades and delivers a smooth, uninterrupted flow of air without buffeting. Dyson has three versions that will sell from $299-$329. And according to the Architects' Journal blog, Footprint, the Air Multiplier uses 1/50th of the electricity of an air conditioning unit and can be used to keep someone comfortable. It also has touch tilt, 90 degree oscillation, and a dimmer switch power control. See how it works below … you'll be blown away just like these folks.
Hot on the heels of acquiring Michelle Kaufmann Designs, Blu Homes has now announced the completion of their first home in Colorado. Homeowners Michael and Nikki Fischer have moved into their custom Blu | Chalet, and they seem to love it (watch video below). With a blend of smart design and energy efficient products, energy costs for the Fischer Chalet are expected to be about 30-50% less than a similar, traditionally constructed home.
Team Germany took first prize at Solar Decathlon 2007, and they’re moving up in the rankings this year. After the architectural competition, the team is now solidly in second place with a few more days to go. Could the cube with a solar facade bring last year’s victor its second consecutive win? In 2007, Team Germany had a beautiful home covered in oak louvered frames with integrated photovoltaics. This year, the team of 24 architects and students has furthered the same theme with 40 single-crystal silicon panels on the roof and roughly 250 thin-film CIGS panels on the sides.
Earlier this month, we previewed each of 20 solar-powered homes competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. Over the next few weeks, we’ll try to delve into more detail to uncover innovation at its best. This house, the Silo House, was designed and built by over 150 students and faculty at Cornell University. It features three, 16-foot diameter silos that hold the kitchen, bedroom, and living room. The Silo House is grid-tied and powered by 40, 200-watt photovoltaic panels, a solar thermal system, and a building integrated solar thermal system. The Silo House currently leads the competition … will they be the team to take first place?
This is the Yannell Residence in Chicago, Illinois, a home that was designed and built as an exercise in net zero energy living — it produces at least as much energy as it uses over the course of a year. It received LEED Platinum certification in July 2009, and has been on a roll getting media attention all over the place. Some say it’s one of the greenest houses ever built, but one thing is for sure: it has a ton of interesting green elements.