Solar Decathlon Winner for 2009

First let me give you a brief background of what Solar Decathlon is. It is a competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy for the purpose of raising awareness among the general public about renewable energy and energy efficiency, and how solar energy technologies can reduce energy usage.
In this competition, 20 teams of college and university students compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Not only that, because this is also an event to experience and witnessed by the public. Not to mention that people has the chance to get inside each house while it is being build “Yes. it’s open to the public”.
The Solar Decathlon has several goals, first is to educate the student participants—the “Decathletes”—about the benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy and green building technologies. As the next generation of engineers, architects, builders, and communicators, the Decathletes will be able to use this knowledge in their studies and their future careers.
Second purpose is to raise awareness among the general public about renewable energy and energy efficiency, and how solar energy technologies can reduce energy usage.
Third is to help solar energy technologies enter the marketplace faster. This competition encourages the research and development of energy efficiency and energy production technologies.
Other Solar Decathlon  goals can be viewed here in U.S. Department of Energy website.
Now, let’s go back on to the mechanics Solar Decathlons competition. It has three major phases First is Building – This is where most of the work—and the learning—happens. In addition to designing houses that use innovative, high-tech elements in ingenious ways, students have to raise funds, communicate team activities, collect supplies, and work with contractors. Although the Solar Decathlon competition receives the most attention, it’s the hard work that students put in during the building phase that makes or breaks a team.
Second is Moving to the Solar Village – When it’s time for the Solar Decathlon, the teams transport their houses to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and rebuild them on site.
Last is Competing – During the competition itself, the teams receive points for their performance in 10 contests and open their homes to the public.
Did I mention that this competition is already over? Yes. It’s already over, and the winning team was none other than the German students.
You can watch the video of  Team Germany winning entry below.

Some other teams that compete were really good. In fact,  I have photos some of the entries I like. Just scroll the window down.

photo_gallery_minnesota-smTeam Minnesota

photo_gallery_virginia_tech-smTeam Virginia

photo_gallery_spain-smTeam Spain

photo_gallery_kentucky-smTeam Kentucky

photo_gallery_germany-sm Team Germany

Other photos can be viewed from U.S. Department of Energy website.

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5 Responses to “Solar Decathlon Winner for 2009”

  1. Ventego says:

    Interesting and informative. But will you write about this one more?

  2. Ally Lim says:

    Stand Up to Climate Change: RUN AGAINST THE ELEMENTS (Ateneo COSA Fun Run 2010)

    Dear Blogger,

    Ateneo’s Collegiate Society of Advertising (COSA) will be having its first-ever Fun Run on January 24, 2010 (Sunday) at the Ateneo campus grounds called, “RUN AGAINST THE ELEMENTS: Ateneo COSA Fun Run 2010” with our slogan: Stand Up to Climate Change. We have partnered with social entrepreneur, Illac Diaz, who started “Design Against the Elements.” This is an international design competition that responds to the call for social and climate adaptation by building sustainable homes. This was launched to international architects last June 16, 2009 at the Institute of International Education (IIE) at the United Nations Plaza in New York with the support of the IIE, the Philippine Consulate, Gov. Lray Villafuerte, Gawad Kalinga, United Architects of the Philippines and My Shelter Foundation.

    We are going beyond the spirit of volunteerism. By choosing Design Against the Elements as the cause for our fun run, we will also be promoting its anthem, “Stand Up”, a collaboration of 50 of the Philippines’ finest artists like Kjwan, Cookie Chua, Karl Roy, Jett Pangan, Noel Cabangon, Barbie Almalbis, Migs Escueta, etc. We are asking for your help in the simultaneous online release of the video we (Ateneo COSA) are creating for the song. This unreleased single will be launched online via a video which will be sent to you on TUESDAY for posting on your blogs. TUESDAY (OCT 27) is the targeted date, so if you would like to help us promote this global campaign and fun run event, please do post this video on your blogs. Below is a forwarded message from Illac Diaz if you would like to know more details about the campaign.

    We hope you help us in promoting ACTION against and not just mere AWARENESS regarding climate change. Climate change is here and now—we want to be able to properly handle another calamity like Ondoy next time. Don’t we?

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Ally Lim
    Project Head

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Illac Diaz
    Date: Sun, Oct 25, 2009 at 2:13 AM
    Subject: Philippine Bloggers Appeal Letter (Tuesday Video Launch)

    Dear Blogger

    These last month has been an incredible trial for the Philippines and its people. As the floodwater begins to receed, a new challenge will need to be met, which is rebuilding many areas that have been affected by the storm. This crisis may have an opportunity by allowing us to work with you and help you rebuild better. Specially since, the incident is not a singular occurence, but is going to be a pattern of challenges for the coming decades due to the changes in climate and a longer view must be implimanted.

    We would like to ask you to help us with a mega-band campaign song to raise awareness on the need to move awareness to climate adaptability in the Philippines over mere carbon reduction as the country is not a significant emitter, but one of the world’s communities most vulnerable; and least able to adapt.
    We have united almost 50 of the top icons of music to sing the campaign song to arouse attention not only of the Philippines, but a global audience that we must move to greater awareness and policies for raising awareness to climate adaptability in the Philippines over mere carbon reduction as the country is not a significant emitter, but that we are also one of the world’s communities most vulnerable; and least able to adapt.

    Like the Blog Action Day we shall be releasing a video simultaneously over the web that we are editing now. Here is a rough sample

    We ask you if you could help us with the simltaneous release.


    The projected impact of climate change in Philippines is extreme typhoons (top four in the world according to the Global Climate Index). This is due mainly to the high vulnerability of rural areas and very little capacity for adaptation (poverty and lack of awareness of the rising dangers) of the people at risk. These upcoming humanitarian disasters, and climate refugee mass migration, and will lead to a high state of conflict and insecurity for the poor below the poverty line.

    This project, Design Against the Elements will focus on the climate displaced communities in Metro Manila, Philippines. Combined with research recently completed by the Manila Observatory on the future challenges of climate in the Naga region ( which is a sample of similar challenges in other areas of the Philippines), it contribute to design and build a redesigned low income community which will be the new blueprint of how people in the vulnerable coastal areas can successfully cope with impacts of climate variability. The knowledge generated from this study will facilitate the development of policies that address these humanitarian challenges.

    The main objective of this competition is to contribute to rural adaptability to climate change impacts, in the form of architectural resiliency to strong typhoon winds and heavy rains. Capacity building in the present social networks such as community, non-government, and government organizations involved with these areas will allow a shift into post disaster mitigation to preparing ahead of the storm. The main hypothesis of this project is having a safer structures “ahead of time” will lead to less injury, number of climate refugees, and loss of life and property.
    The main partner and benificiary will be Gawad Kalinga who will recieve the winning designs of which the winner of the competition will have 100 houses built with the new design.

    This competition will begin in November 2009. We are setting the land and the global partners.

    The competition brief ( which is how the architects design the village based on the key points of climate change challenges, data on the site and province, ect) is still being done by the United Architects of the Philippines.Last 2008, it was for building safer schools for shelter (

    It will be from the top marketing using the United Architects of the Philippines writing to all architect associations in the world linked to them BUT the exciting one is the grassroots marketing of the global Gawad Kalinga members asking architects they can reach (inspire) to be involved. We expect 4000 entries.

    The song is composed by Joey Ayala and Boogie Romero and is about to be finished by 50 of the top Filipino bands and personalities who are now finishing the “Stand Up” theme song for the campaign.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Illac Angelo Diaz
    Executive Director
    Global Designer Village Challenge

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