December 8th, 2008

Cornell Silo House - Solar Decathlon 2009

Photo by:  John BerryWhat is the Solar Decathlon you may ask?  Well the Solar Decathlon is an international, interdisciplinary design-build competition hosted biennially by the U.S. Department of Energy for three weeks in October. Twenty college and university teams compete to design, build and operate the most attractive, effective and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The public is also invited to observe the powerful combination of solar energy, energy efficiency, and the best in home design.

The Solar Decathlon brings attention to one of the biggest challenges we face-an ever-increasing need for energy. As an internationally recognized event, it offers powerful solutions-using energy more efficiently and using energy from renewable sources.Just like the well-known Olympic decathlon, the Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests that center on all of the ways in which we use energy in our daily lives. The objective contests are scored by measuring performance, such as meeting certain temperature requirements. Other contests require the successful completion of tasks-which might simulate real-life activities such as cooking, washing dishes, and doing laundry.

Subjective contests are scored by jurors who are experts in architecture, engineering, and other appropriate fields. The jurors evaluate features that measurements cannot, such as aesthetics and design inspiration (CUSD 2009).

 

The Team

As the largest student project team on campus, the 2009 Cornell Solar Decathlon team is composed of more than 150 students from undergraduate and graduate colleges across campus. Student members from five of Cornell's colleges including the Colleges of Engineering, Architecture, Human Ecology, and Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. The team is student-run with support from more than twenty Cornell faculty, staff, and alumni (CSDAs the largest student project team on campus, the 2009 Cornell Solar Decathlon team is composed of more than 150 students from undergraduate and graduate colleges across campus. Student members from five of Cornell's colleges including the Colleges of Engineering, Architecture, Human Ecology, and Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. The team is student-run with support from more than twenty Cornell faculty, staff, and alumni (CUSD 2009).

 

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