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.

Perhaps one of the more unique elements of Self-Reliance is the lush Greenhouse-Wall in the southerly window of the kitchen that provides the homeowners with a source of vegetables and greens.  The exterior is coated with a natural finish made with linseed oil from the flax plant.

The jury considered the following for this contest:

  • Livability – Does the design offer a safe, functional, convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable place to live? Does it feature intuitive house controls? Does it meet the unique needs and desires of the target client?
  • Marketability – Does the house have curb appeal, interior appeal, and quality craftsmanship? How well do its sustainability features and strategies contribute to its marketability? Does the house offer potential homebuyers within the target market a good value?
  • Buildability – Would the construction documents enable a contractor to generate an accurate construction cost estimate and then construct the building as the design team intended it to be built? Can the house’s materials and equipment be immediately adopted and built in the private sector?

“Self-Reliance left the jury very impressed, eclipsing our expectations across the board in livability and marketability,” said Brad Beeson, Market Appeal juror, according to the DOE. “Middlebury College defined its market carefully—a young family of four with a modest income for the region—and demonstrated the fit for that target market with a very compelling video.”

[+] More info about the Solar Decathlon in Washington D.C.

Credit: Jim Tetro/U.S. DOE.