The winner of the 2015 Solar Decathlon is the Stevens Institute of Technology's SURE HOUSE! Years of hard work and outside-of-the-box thinking paid off as the team took first place in this year's Solar Decathlon competition with their incredible hurricane-resistant design. The SURE HOUSE is a solar-powered home with an open, flowing floor plan that lets air and sunlight in, but don't let that openness fool you. This house is tough enough to act as a community base in the event of a disaster.
For the past year, students have been designing and innovating to create the solar home of the future. Over the past few weeks, those 17 teams have been competing in 10 areas, including market appeal, affordability, architecture and energy balance. The overall prize is awarded to the home that best embodies all of these aspects. University at Buffalo, The State University of New York took second place, followed by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in third place.
What really made the SURE HOUSE stand out was its ultra-efficient design, coupled with a serious cost-effectiveness. The home exceeds Passive House standards and requires 90-percent less energy than your average home. Fiber composite shutters allow the house to be sealed up tight in an emergency, with plenty of solar power to keep things running.
Now that the competition is over, SURE HOUSE will be dismantled and moved to the East Coast to act as a community education center. The team was also awarded the top prizes for architecture and communications.
The Solar Decathlon is hosted by the US Department of Energy and gives students from around the world the chance to showcase their talents by designing a solar-powered home that represents the future of sustainability. The winning home is the one the best captures the perfect mixture of efficiency, affordability and innovative design. This year’s theme was “Time to shine,” highlighting not only the student’s moment in the spotlight, but the importance of solar light for the future of green energy.