Before announcing the winner of the Solar Decathlon, the Department of Energy announced the results of the last juried contest for Market Appeal. Middlebury College landed first place for Self-Reliance, while Maryland followed in second place with WaterShed and New Zealand in third place with First Light.
Radiant flooring is a popular method for heating a space. Typicaly, installing a radiant slab on grade has required the time- and labor-intensive process of laying down wire mesh and then tying the tubing to the grid of the mesh to provide an even layout. But using the Creatherm radiant floor panel makes it faster and easier to install radiant tubing, as well as providing an insulation layer beneath the floor.
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The results are in for another contest at Solar Decathlon 2011 and the winner of the architecture phase is the University of Maryland with WaterShed. Team New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington) took second place with First Light, and Appalachian State University took third place with the Solar Homestead.
The Solar Decathlon evolved this year with the advent of the Affordability Contest. It replaced the Lighting Design Contest, which was subsumed within other contests in the competition. Pursuant to the rules, teams receive up to 100 points by achieving an estimated construction cost of $250,000 or less. Above that, there’s a sliding scale with no points awarded for homes with a construction cost above $600,000.
KB Home, a publicly-traded home builder with its headquarters in Los Angeles, this month announced the nationwide roll out of net-zero energy home designs called ZeroHouse 2.0. The standard KB Home with Energy Star certification is built to save homeowners about $1,000 in average annual energy costs, while a ZeroHouse 2.0 design is expected to eliminate monthly electricity charges.