Gallery: VIDEO: Announcing the Winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon

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If you’re anything like us, you’ve been having Solar Decathlon withdrawal since the biennial design-build competition ended at the beginning of the month. We’re still buzzing with excitement from the amazing student designed-homes that 19 collegiate teams displayed on the National Mall in Washington D.C., and in our latest video, we take an in-depth look at our three favorite solar-powered prefab homes that battled it out for the crown of the 2011 Solar Decathlon! Even if you already know who won the competition, check out our video to see the race to the finish line for Team Maryland‘s graceful green-roofed WaterShed homeOhio State‘s elegant enCORE house, and SCI-Arc and Caltech‘s innovative inside-out CHIP House. Watch the video to find out which team reigned supreme!

The 2011 Solar Decathlon took place in West Potomac Park on the National Mall from September 23 to October 2. We were on the scene, brining you exclusive inside looks at each of the 19 homes on display. The teams were judged in ten different categories, ranging from engineering and energy balance to overall architecture and affordability. Each category was worth 100 points, for a total possible 1000 points.

We loved Ohio State’s elegant minimalist design with an opaque slatted exterior that let daylight flood the flexible space. Sci-Arch and Caltech impressed us with their techy-aspects, like their Kinect controlled lights and home entertainment system. The University of Maryland’s WaterShed home focused on reusing and conserving water, a feature that no doubt help the team stay at the front of the pack for most of the competition. But was it enough for them to win first place? Watch the video and find out!

+ Solar Decathlon

Video music by Earth for Foxes


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  1. sutmundo November 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I am glad the watershed won. The attention given to energy over the years has deflected attention away from water conservation and re-use as water scarcity globally is a more pressing problem than energy supply. However, energy conservation is still a big issue and it is beautiful to see a project that addresses both.

    Nice video Inhabitat!

    BY the way, does anyone know how much it cost to build and how all the projects were funded?

  2. stevetrash October 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Great contest. I’m curious if the Maryland WaterShed House will be used on campus as an sustainable education tool. Anyone know? Steve :)

  3. Kestrel Jenkins October 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    wow incredible designs! team maryland – what a beauty of a sustainable house!!

  4. Andrew Michler October 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Beautiful detailing in the Maryland House, no wonder it won.

  5. Rebecca Paul October 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Wow I love that they focused on water and their butterfly roof is an excellent example of smart design, plus it looks amazing. Nice work Maryland!

  6. Yuka Yoneda October 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    The video explains a lot of the aspects of the houses I wasn’t sure about. Thanks!

  7. Diane Pham October 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    excellent work by all the teams!

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