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Maryland Virtual Tour - Solar Decathlon 2011

Video description

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. This video is a tour of the 2011 winning entry from the University of Maryland.


Student Leah Davies:

During our design process, we wanted to integrate simple design, vernacular design, and modern design. So a very technologically innovative and modern home that’s comfortable to live in. We’re really excited that our message and our mission goes beyond solar.

Student Allyson Wilson:

But our story is also about water, and how we can capture that resource and cycle it through our house, and reuse it on site instead of letting it become runoff to areas down the stream. To do that, we have a number of technologies. We have a green roof. We also have a constructed wetland that runs through the core of our house, which filters our gray water and stores our storm water.

Student Leah Davies:

We have two liquid desiccant waterfalls. It’s a dehumidifying system that basically combines engineering and architecture to become a design feature. What it does is it draws moisture from the air and mixes it with a lithium-chloride solution. So the air that’s released into the back into the house is dry, which significantly reduces the loads on our mini-split system.

Student Allyson Wilson:

It really does take a village to build this house. We would not be here without the ridiculous amounts of help we’ve received from our teammates. It really is a team effort, and I think that’s one of our greatest strengths is that we’ve all really been there for each other in the last week, in terms of somebody needs help and everybody’s stepping up. It’s a great project to be a part of.

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