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Students compete to design green homes

on Monday,October 12,2009 19:10

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The U.S. Department of Energy''s 2009 Solar Decathlon challenges 20 international teams of students to design, build and display attractive, effective and energy efficient solar-powered homes in a three week competition running through October 18 in Washington, D.C.

Like any true decathlon, the competition is judged on 10 separate "events" including architecture, marketability, engineering, appliances, entertainment, public interactions, temperature and humidity, hot-water production, lighting design and the ability to produce as much - if not more - energy than the homes may consume.

"Part of the building competition," begins U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, "(is letting) the next generation of green engineers, architects, designers and professionals gain valuable experience that will help them to lead America toward a clean energy future."

The decathletes, whose submissions are currently viewable on the National Mall in D.C., include designers from Canada, Spain and Germany in addition to a myriad of American schools from across the country.

The competition, the DOE''s fourth such event, aims to draw attention to sustainability and energy efficient technologies4 while guiding future architects and designers toward greener building, claims project head Richard King in the Washington Post.

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