The student team from the University of Maryland drew inspiration from the Chesapeake Bay by building a home that focuses on energy and water conservation. It tries to re-create the bay's ecosystem with the building itself by capturing storm water and filtering it with native vegetation on site. During a week in Washington, D.C., the house was able to produce more energy than it consumed with its solar photovoltaic and solar hot-water panels.
The Department of Energy-sponsored Solar Decathlon is held every two years in Washington as a competition among 20 university student teams to build the most compelling solar-powered house. This year, there was an increased focus on affordability by limiting teams to $250,000 in construction costs.
October 3, 2011 10:06 AM PDT
Photo by: Department of Energy
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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