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Middlebury College is the only undergraduate, liberal arts school to ever enter the Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Four students from Maine are part of the team working around the clock right now, to re-assemble a modular solar house they built on their campus in Vermont.
Sarah Simonds of Rangely, Stanis Moody-Roberts and Emily Atwood of Cape Elizabeth, and Merelise Ametti of Skowhegan are part of an 85-member student team that designed and built a ranch-style house named, "Self-Reliance".
On the team's website, they point out the house's efficiency and economic benefits: "We have designed the house to be affordable for an average family of four. With an “as-built” budget of less than $250,000, the home is within the price range of many more people than the over $1 million budgets of many Solar Decathlon houses in the past. By designing a comfortable and functional home for four people (as opposed to one of similar proportions for one or two people), we are maximizing space and developing a more sustainable solution."
The Self-Reliance team blog has a day-by-day, illustrated chronicle of the journey to Washington, the construction process and the decathlon itself.
The Solar Decathlon opens on September 23 and runs through October 2, 2011. Open to the public free of charge, visitors can tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the biennial competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. Vist the official Solar Decathlon site for more information.
Read our earlier post written by Stanis Moody-Roberts. Watch B-roll video from this and other entries in the 2011 Solar Decathlon here.