The first city-wide collegiate team to be formed in Washington, D.C. and compete in the Solar Decathlon is Team Capitol DC, made up of students and faculty mentors from Catholic University, American University, and George Washington University. Their entry is HARVEST HOME, taking its name from its harvesting of natural resources, and is designed to meet the needs of a wounded veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who will live in the home after the competition.
In August 2013, Green Builder Magazine showcased the best durable/sustainable green building products that are made in the United States, pointing out that American manufacturing creates domestic jobs, reduces the impact of overseas shipping, and often makes use of locally-sourced raw materials.
Among the thirty-one products featured was the Xero Flor Green Roof System (the only green roof system to be included in the issue), which enables builders to create vegetative roofing on surfaces that range from 0 to 45 degree slopes. The Xero Flor system comprises a pre-vegetated mat, XeroTerr growing medium (a mix of compost and porous mineral aggregate), a retention fleece that distributes and stores water within the root zone, drain mat, and root barrier.
Winners of the Solar Decathlon China 2013, Team UOW (of University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra Institute) was the first Australian team to have ever won a place in a Solar Decathlon final and was the largest student-run competition that the UoW has ever entered.
Hosted by the United States Department of Energy, the Chinese National Energy Administration, and Peking University, Solar Decathlon China 2013 challenged 24 teams from 14 countries to design, build, and operate a solar-powered home that is energy efficient, cost effective to build, and appealing. Categories in which entries are judged include architecture, engineering, solar application, energy balance, market appeal, home entertainment, and appliances.
One of twenty teams that have been chosen to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 competition, Team Texas is comprised of eighty students from multiple disciplines at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and El Paso Community College.
Their submission is the $250,000 ADAPT home, a single family dwelling that takes on the unique challenges of the Far West Texas region where a high temperatures, low humidity, an average rainfall of eight inches a year, and strong winds can create a harsh and dusty environment in the Chihuahua desert that features mountain plateaus, high deserts, chaparrals, and verdant farmland. Taking cues from desert flora and fauna, ADAPT is an acronym for Accommodate, Design, Adjust, Provide, and Transform.
This Nederland, Colorado container home, designed by Studio H:T, performs at net-zero energy consumption by utilizing passive strategies of insulation and orientation, active solar photovoltaic and thermal systems, and the harvesting of on-site renewable fuel (timber is selectively and sustainably cleared to burn in the high-efficiency wood stove).
Dubbed BARNagain, this LEED Platinum-certified home was designed by Rick Hauser of In.Site:Architecture to meet the client’s request for an energy-efficient house that utilized materials from a deteriorating barn for its structure and skin.
The main structural elements of the home were built using timber frames, while reclaimed barn siding served as the exterior skin. Salvaged barn framing was also used for flooring, ceilings, drywall, and decking.