by Jenny Gerow
make final adjustments to U.Va.s solar house.
Solar team shines on the
By Jane Ford
were hung out to dry in the sun at many of the houses at the Department
of Energys Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington,
teams took advantage of the direct application of solar energy
aka sunlight to save the power in their batteries,
collected with photovoltaic cells. They had to return the dried
towels to the judges to be weighed. Each team would receive the
total number of points allotted only if their towels weighed to-the-ounce
what they did before they were washed.
practical and technical parts of the competition were under way.
Decathletes were busy cooking meals, running the dishwasher and
washing machine, producing a newsletter in their home offices,
watching six hours of TV or video, driving an electric vehicle
and taking showers with 110† water. The 14 teams, from colleges
and universities across the nation, were busy completing their
assigned tasks for the day.
addition to day-to-day living chores, they were required to maintain
room and water temperatures and monitor other systems on a regular
schedule to earn points in the complicated rating scheme.
Saturday, results of the event which covered 10 contests
over 11 days were announced. The U.Va. team placed second
overall and won the design and livability contest, the most heavily
weighted category in the competition. That first place also earned
a special citation from the American Institute of Architects.
In addition, the team won the BP Solar Progressive Award for the
most forward-thinking team.
by John Quale
Solar House won the design and livability competition and
took second place overall in the first-ever national Solar
Decathlon, sponsored by the Department of Energy, and held
on the Mall in Washington. Below are some of the members of
U.Va.s solar house team.
could not be more pleased with the result of the solar decathlon,
said Karen Van Lengen, dean of the School
their cooperation, their technological innovation and their imagination,
this team has demonstrated the real excellence of these schools
Vierra, chair of the design jury, said the six jury members looked
for ideas that represented the future, were extremely innovative
and were comprehensive in solutions to design problems. The
U.Va. team attempted to integrate more solar strategies and did
it more successfully than any other team, she said.
jury was impressed with the way the U.Va. decathletes communicated
their design both verbally and in the execution. The work
of the architecture and sengineering students complemented each
other in a way that set them apart from the other teams,
Dannenberg, a May graduate of the Architecture Schools graduate
design program, said, As a student, it was great not only
to see our design built but to be recognized for our efforts.
As a team, we feel the linking of ethics and aesthetics was a
very important part of the project.
entry in the competition is a two-year interdisciplinary collaboration
between the School of Architecture and School of Engineering and
Applied Science. More than 100 students worked on the project.
Passive solar design, sustainable and reclaimed materials and
highly efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were
addition, students devised an integrated energy storage system
that supplies power when the sun is not shining and a computer-controlled
system that optimizes the distribution of power.
Miksad, dean of the School
of Engineering, praised the collaborative effort. This
was a great example of students breaking free of discipline constraints.
By working together, new ideas were explored, and creative and
innovative solutions to everyday problems were developed and implemented.
students designed and built the furniture and cabinetry using
sustainably forested lumber. In the garden, a gray water collection-and-filtration
system waters the vegetables and flowers that grow in planters
made from automobile tires salvaged from the landfill.
and engineering students collaborated not only with one another
but also with scientists, advisers and Charlottesville-area businesses.
Literally hundreds of professionals helped us resolve unprecedented
design challenges, said Dave Click, a student project manager
from the School of Engineering.
design includes a complex heating and cooling system that uses
radiant heating in the floor and a valance cooling system designed
to also supplement the heating system in the winter and control
the moisture in the air.
team pushed the envelope as far as they could, said Paxton
Marshall, the School of Engineering faculty adviser. They
came up with the best house they could possibly produce.
architect and U.Va. alumnus Doug Gehley stopped by to look at
the house. A champion for sustainable design in his office, he
was impressed with the whole idea of the competition. More
and more clients are demanding sustainable design and smart design,
house will continue to bask in the sun now that the competition
is over. It will be installed on University Grounds, where it
will serve as a guesthouse.
house will be a continuing reminder to the community of the potential
of sustainable design, said John Quale, School of Architecture
faculty team adviser.