More than 125 students at the University of Maryland have come together over the last three years to plan, design and build a completely functional 800 square foot house run entirely on solar energy.
As a completely student run organization, each team member has applied lessons learned in the class room to benefit this project. From architects to mechanical engineers to business majors, students from a variety of disciplines have contributed their unique skills to the project.
At the end of three years worth of work, the team will take pride in seeing the home displayed on the National Mall alongside 18 other schools. The bustling community will be open to visitors for two weeks in October as a testament to the environmentally-friendly possibilities available to the public.
During the last solar decathlon in 2002, over 100,000 people visited the village, and with more schools participating, the attendance is expected to be even higher.
While the homes are on the Mall they will be judged on ten different criteria including how the house handles day-today tasks of a normal family such as washing dishes, cooking food and running a computer. In the last solar decathlon the team finished fourth, but with a new design and an energetic group of students they hope to top that.
After the decathlon, the team is happy to donate the home to the Montgomery County Parks Service.
Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Website