Solar Decathlon 2009
Submitted by Shawn Reeves
Twenty teams competed in a multi-part challenge to design and demonstrate a dwelling that made more electricity than it used, and heated itself, both using sunlight.
Teams from North America and Europe transported and assembled their houses on the Mall in Washington DC, to be shown for 10 days in October. During the competition, I interviewed students from Team Germany, the team that eventually won the overall championship.
Sardika Meyer, an architecture student responsible for the exterior design and communications, explained that she thought the 2007 team house was ?such an interesting house, and the entire topic of sustainability and energy efficiency in design was becoming more and more important...I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get an introduction to the topic and to learn something for life.?
Marco Fleckenstein, an electrical engineering student, responsible for cabling, plumbing, and insulation, is studying renewable energy. Marco attended Technische Universit?t Darmstadt in order to study energy systems, and is enjoying their concentration in renewables.
Martin Zeumer, an architectural engineer and Team Germany Advisor, sees the Solar Decathlon as one of the leading events for energy efficient architecture. He explained that every two years the team, both students and staff, changes to spread the exposure to the curriculum.
I also interviewed Doug Ponciano, who studies architecture at California College of the Arts, and worked with Team California. CCA includes work on the house as part of its elective curriculum. He entered the project a year into the two-year process, to help assemble construction documents. ?As architectural students, learning the conventions for drawing and representation was really big for us, so we wanted to create a really cohesive set of documents that help describe what this is all about.?