Dow Solar is sponsoring the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon as a way to drive design innovation that encourages energy saving building practices and adoption of residential solar power.
The Solar Decathlon program challenges 20 collegiate teams to design and build energy-efficient houses powered exclusively by the sun. The contest provides participating students with unique training – including the use of their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines - that prepares them to enter the United States' clean energy workforce. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
“This is a perfect forum to bring tomorrow’s designers and engineers together with the general public, U.S. law makers and building and energy advocacy groups to foster new ideas and ultimately transform the way we all think about residential building design,” said Jane Palmieri, Dow Solar vice president. “Bringing these important players together on this global stage is a great way to create change, which supports Dow’s commitment to foster sustainable innovations and help homeowners address the high cost of energy with solutions that are available today.”
The company and DOE will sponsor the Victory Reception, which gathers students, faculty, volunteers, and staff to celebrate the team accomplishments and present the People’s Choice Award. Dow Solar is also partnering with SEIA (Solar Energy Industry Association) to host the Congressional Open House, where congressional representatives and staff members tour the homes and meet with the students and faculty.
The company is also supporting two collegiate teams:
• Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology’s CHIP Team
• Parsons New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology’s Empowerhouse Team
These teams will donate their homes to Habitat for Humanity at the conclusion of the Decathlon. The teams are being supported with financial contributions and with Dow Building Solutions materials.
This year’s Solar Decathlon will take place on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. It is open to the public free of charge from September 23 through October 2, 2011. Visitors may tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money.
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