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Australia Wins Solar Decathlon China 2013

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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.

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Florida Contractor Builds the First Luxury Net Zero Energy Home

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Marc Rutenberg, the CEO of the Florida company Marc Rutenberg Homes, has recently successfully designed and built a luxury home that complies with and even surpasses all Energy Star standards and is LEED Platinum certified. The Castaway III, as the house is called, measures 4,552-square feet, which is about 3,100 square feet larger than the average zero-energy home. This house proves that there is no need to sacrifice comfort and luxury to reduce one’s carbon footprint.

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Net Zero ADAPT Home Reduces the Need for Climate Control in the Chihuahua Desert

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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.

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SHADE is Solar Home Adapting for Desert Equilibrium

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Team ASUNM, a collaborative effort between Arizona State University and University of New Mexico, has come together to address the inefficiencies of urban sprawl and to create a model for sustainable desert living that has been dubbed SHADE (Solar Home Adapting for Desert Equilibrium), which is an entry in the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition that takes place on October 3-13, 2013 in Irvine, California.

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Solar Structures Offer Affordable Solar Roof Alternative

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A new partnership between Silicon Energy and CrystaLite that was announced at the recent Living Future unConference in Seattle is bringing a new alternative to photovoltaic solar roof implementations and ground-mounted installations: the solar structure. PV-integrated structures provide home and business owners with extensive flexibility in the design and implementation of solar power when a solar roof is not cost effective or to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing integration of solar panels with structural design of patio and deck coverings, carport coverings, and picnic shelters.

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Solar Powered Garage Garners Green Mountain College a $50,000 E2 Energy to Educate Grant

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Students who participated in last semester’s Renewable Energy and Ecological Design (REED) at Green Mountain College (GMC) have designed solar-powered garage that won them a $50,000 grant to build it from the E2 Energy to Educate program sponsored by the Exelon Company, Constellation.

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