Gallery: University of Maryland’s WaterShed Solar Decathlon House Takes...

image © Jill Fehrenbacher for Inhabitat
In the biennial Solar Decathlon house design competition, the sun's energy takes center stage, but this year the University of Maryland team created a house that also highlights our water usage – a characteristic that has no doubt helped the team jump to first place in the esteemed design-build competition put on by the US Department of Energy. Nineteen eco-friendly prefab houses are currently competing on the National Mall in the 2011 Solar Decathlon, and Maryland’s WaterShed house has led the pack through the first week, as judges awarded points in a variety of categories. Just yesterday, WaterShed took first place in Architecture! WaterShed was inspired by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and focuses heavily on managing storm water, treating greywater and minimizing water usage. Constructed wetlands around the house and the inclusion of a green roof further help to increase energy efficiency and manage water runoff. We’re excited to see that the beautiful and thoughtfully designed WaterShed is on the road to win!

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