Gallery: INTERVIEW: University of Maryland Wins Big at the 2011 Solar D...


Here at Inhabitat we’re suckers for the Solar Decathlon — the biennial design/build competition in which university design teams from all around the globe battle it out on the National Mall in Washington DC to see who can design and build the best solar-powered home. This year’s Solar Decathlon was a nail-biter of a competition, but it was the University of Maryland team which ultimately triumphed over all the other teams with an elegant, water-conservation focused home called WaterShed. We were fascinated by this beautiful winning home, and sat down with project design lead and student designer David Gavin to find out more about how the house came together. David is a second year Masters of Architecture student at the University of Maryland and he’s dreamed of being a Solar Decathlon contender since before he started school. Read on for our insider interview with Gavin as he explains the design of the award-winning home, and how his team utilized Building Information Modeling to streamline the design and construction processes.

This interview is brought to you by Autodesk – Removing the barriers to better business.

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  1. jmerkovich October 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Beautiful and simple – well done. We are working on a transition to Revit at my firm and this is a very good example of what integration between disciplines can achieve with good software and good design. Congrats to the “other” U of M (sorry, I’m a University of Minnesota M. Arch grad =^).

  2. Jessica Dailey October 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I was happy to be a part of the Inhabitat team reporting on the Mall, and I absolutely loved the WaterShed home! It’s great to learn more about the behind-the-scenes process. Congrats, David & Team Maryland!

  3. Lori Zimmer October 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    He will no doubt find an amazing job after this amazing project!! Congrats!

  4. Diane Pham October 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

    great interview. and great work by a group of promising students!

  5. jjegan3 October 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

    See my photos of the WaterShed House on my FB page/albums. WTG Terps!

  6. Mike Chino October 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    It’s fantastic to see a Solar Decathlon project focus as much on water conservation as it does on energy generation!

  7. Allison Leahy October 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Congrats! WaterShed is one of my favorites.

  8. dan mendes October 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    it’s nice to see software help manage material use and building processes, effectively removing waste and simplifying the understanding of the construction process so you don’t run into implementation errors. pretty darn cool

  9. Andrew Michler October 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    It think the interview demonstrated how much great design is about team work. And the idea of connecting to water quality is brilliant.

  10. Rebecca Paul October 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Great interview and good luck with the job hunt David!

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