Solar Decathlon Highlights High Performance Products

September 26, 2011
Meetings & Events

Solar-powered homes constructed by 20 university-led teams were on display in Washington, D.C., last week at the Solar Decathlon.  The biennial event, organized by the Department of Energy, is designed to showcase cutting edge technologies in homes that are attractive, energy efficient and affordable, with top honors this year going to the home built by the University of Maryland.

“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 Energy Secretary Steven 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.”

A walkthrough of The University of Maryland's award-winning WaterShed home,
which featured windows from Loewen.

From a window and door industry perspective, one trend evident was use of European "passive house" design concepts.  Triple-glazed windows and doors were highlighted in several of this year's projects, including Purdue University's InHome and Middlebury College's Self Reliance, highlighted below. 

Kolbe Ultra Series triple-pane clad wood windows were used as part of a passive design that relies
natural processes for heating, cooling and lighting.

Optiwin cork-insulated wood windows with high-performance triple glazing were used for maximum
thermal performance.

DOE has created a Solar Decathlon You Tube channel featuring videos showing walkthroughs of all the homes in this year's competition.