2011 Solar Decathlon Winner Declared

The University of Maryland's "WaterShed" Photo Credit: Jim Tetro/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

The University of Maryland was announced as the winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon prestigious clean energy competition.  

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the winners of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. The University of Maryland won top honors overall by designing, building and operating the most cost effective, energy efficient and attractive solar powered house. Purdue University took second place followed by New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington) in third place.

“This competition to build innovative, highly energy-efficient homes has been two years in the making, and all of these teams must be commended for their hard work,” said Chu. “The houses on display blend affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. These talented students are demonstrating to consumers the wide range of energy-saving solutions that are available today to save them money on their energy bills.” 

All teams competed in 10 contests during 10 days that gauged each house’s performance, livability and affordability. The teams performed everyday tasks, including cooking, laundry, and washing dishes that tested the energy efficiency of their houses. After all contest results were tallied, Maryland earned 951.151 points out of a possible 1,000 to win the competition, followed by Purdue with 931.390 points and New Zealand with 919.058 points. Full competition results and details about the individual contests may be found at http://www.solardecathlon.gov/

“The Department of Energy would like to thank these incredible students, who represent the clean energy workforce of tomorrow and who helped bring this Solar Decathlon competition to life,” said Richard King, director of Solar Decathlon for the U.S. Department of Energy. “Today’s announcement is the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work and determination. You have helped show that anyone can save money and energy in their own home starting right now.” 

Maryland's "WaterShed" Entry Photo Credit: Jim Tetro/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

The results of the Market Appeal Contest also were announced today, with Middlebury College taking first place by scoring 95 out of 100 possible points. The Market Appeal Contest evaluates the livability of each house and its appeal within the housing market. The University of Maryland placed second in Market Appeal, scoring 94 points, which helped solidify their lead in the overall competition. New Zealand placed third in Market Appeal, scoring 93 points in the contest, which helped propel them from fourth place overall into third place in the final competition. 

Student teams in the 2011 competition hailed from five countries across four continents, including the United States, Belgium, Canada, China and New Zealand. The application process for the sixth U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, to be held in fall 2013, has already begun with applications available online for collegiate teams at www.SolarDecathlon.gov/apply.html.

Solar Decathlon 2011 teams that competed on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park:

  • Appalachian State University
  • Canada (University of Calgary)
  • Florida International University
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland
  • Middlebury College
  • New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • The Ohio State University
  • Parsons NS Stevens (Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology, a team that also includes Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School)
  • Purdue University
  • The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology 
  • Team Belgium (Ghent University)
  • Team China (Tongji University)
  • Team Florida (The University of South Florida, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida)
  • Team Massachusetts (Massachusetts College of Art and Design and University of Massachusetts at Lowell)
  • Team New Jersey (Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey and New Jersey Institute of Technology)
  • Team New York (The City College of New York)
  • The University of Tennessee
  • Tidewater Virginia (Old Dominion University and Hampton University) 

The highly efficient solar powered houses will be open to the public for free tours for one final day on Sunday, October 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For full information, including videos, photos and full standings click here.