Whoever said today’s college kids are apathetic never met this group of University of Maryland students. 300 students and a team of faculty members are teaming up to design a house that derives power from wind, rain, solar and waste. The group is one of 20 teams selected to participate in the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011, a design competition to create a house that’s fully powered by the sun – and as you may know if you’re a regular reader of Inhabitat, one of our favorite events of the year!

watershed house, Department of Energy, Solar Decathlon 2011, edible wall, university of maryland, solar design competition, WaterShed, National Mall

Designers hope the house, WaterShed, will act like a mini-ecosystem, relying on rain, wind, solar and waste to function. According to current design plans, the home is broken into two rectangular units with a butterfly-shaped roof that can capture rainwater and sunlight. In addition to a rooftop photovoltaic array, the design boasts technology to control temperature, ventilation, humidity and light, and the house will be built with sustainable materials. The design also includes an edible green wall and garden, giving new meaning to the phrase “local food.”

Other teams competing in the competition include students from the US, Belgium, China and New Zealand. Teams will show their designs on the National Mall in October of 2011, with winners being selected then. We’ve yet to see any other team’s design plans, but if they’re anything like the WaterShed house, competition is sure to be pretty steep.

+ University of Maryland

Via ScienceDaily