We Green DC

Here Comes the Sun: Solar Houses on the Mall

Photo courtesy of
‘Spain’s sun-worshipping house’
courtesy of ‘snapzdc’

The National Mall sure looks different these days, ever since they put in that new subdivision. What, you haven’t seen them? All those little houses run completely by the sun? Yes, it’s time for another Solar Decathlon!

In this event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy every other year, 20 teams of university students from as close as Virginia Tech and as far away as Germany will compete in 10 contests to create the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. While of course the teams use emerging technologies, the focus is on practicality. The home that wins will not be just the most energy efficient; it also must look great and be tricked out with modern conveniences.

In other words, these homes are concrete examples (or wood or metal or aerogel examples) that going green doesn’t have to mean going without.

And that means the houses all look really cool. What kind of fun gadgets might you see?
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