The University of Maryland's WaterShed House, winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, has found a buyer and a permanent home. The Washington, D.C.-area electric utility Pepco has agreed to buy the award-winning home, and it plans to display the house at one if its Maryland facilities for educational purposes. The University of Maryland announced yesterday that the house will serve as a "living classroom" and a "living laboratory" to showcase high-efficiency design and clean energy options.
In October, WaterShed took top honors at the 2011 Solar Decathlon, a bi-annual design competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. The design was largely inspired by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and the need to prevent stormwater and wastewater runoff. The home is lined with artificial wetlands that recycle greywater from the shower, dishwasher and clothes washer, and it’s surrounded by native landscaping. The home is powered by 42 Sanyo HIT220A 9.2 kilowatt photovoltaic panels, which are mounted on the roof and provide enough energy to power the entire home. And on the back side of the house, a solar thermal panel heats water for the home.
According to a press release, Pepco will use the home to demonstrate its original design innovations as well as Pepco’s own technologies, including smart thermostats and EV charging stations, and it will also host conferences, educational presentations, and occasional public tours at the home. Pepco will also be able to use the home as an energy-testing facility, and U of M researchers say that they’ll continue to measure the home’s various systems to assess its long-term performance.