ASHRAE has announced that it is an association sponsor of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017. The event will be held Oct. 5-15 in Denver at the 61st & Peña Station on the University of Colorado A line commuter rail connecting Denver International Airport to downtown Union Station.
The Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses over the course of two years. The winning team will combine the best blends of design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and water and energy efficiency.
As a long-time sponsor, ASHRAE has offered guidance and support to the Solar Decathlon by hosting student receptions, providing meals, participating in event committees, leading workshops, and serving as judges.
“Solar Decathlon is more than a competition. It’s a hands-on opportunity for students to design, test, build, and see their buildings work,” says Kent Peterson, Fellow/Presidential ASHRAE Member, and Solar Decathlon 2017 judge. “The students participating in this competition represent the future leaders and innovators of the built industry. We can learn from their innovation, enthusiasm, and dedication and ASHRAE is eager to support them in achieving their goals.”
ASHRAE Student Branch members are participating in the competition on the following teams:
• Las Vegas: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas)
• Maryland: University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
• Missouri S&T: Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO)
• Team Alabama: University of Alabama at Birmingham and Calhoun Community College (Birmingham, AL)
• Team Daytona Beach: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, FL)
• UC Berkeley/U of Denver: University of California at Berkeley and University of Denver (Berkeley, CA)
• UC Davis: University of California, Davis (Davis, CA)
Other competing teams include:
• Netherlands: HU University of Applied Science Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands)
• Northwestern: Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
• Swiss Team: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg (Lausanne, Switzerland)
• Wash U St. Louis: Washington University (St. Louis)
In response to an evolving industry and changing market conditions, this year’s competition has been revised to include contests that challenge collegiate teams to address building science, home comfort, and the ability to achieve net zero energy consumption during the competition by generating as much electricity from solar as they use.
Solar Decathlon student teams were provided with a variety of resources and publications to develop plans for the solar houses including ASHRAE GreenGuide, HVAC Simplified, and ASHRAE standards.
“ASHRAE has a long history dedicated to sustainability and it’s encouraging to see the competition’s progression as the built industry continues to change and grow,” said ASHRAE President-Elect Sheila Hayter, Fellow ASHRAE and Solar Decathlon 2017 judge. “Our sponsorship underscores ASHRAE’s commitment to produce net zero energy buildings. It’s a pleasure to witness these students shape the future of the built environment through this unique experience.”
Additionally, ASHRAE members in the Denver area will serve as volunteer greeters, docents, visitor liaisons, education day(s) mentors, water delivery and retrieval support, and more.
Solar Decathlon 2017 will also feature a sustainability expo, professional development and consumer workshops, and middle school education events. The Solar Decathlon village and competition houses are open to the public free of charge for nine days over two long weekends.
For more information on Solar Decathlon 2017, visit www.solardecathlon.gov.