College of Design students take fifth place in 2009 Solar Decathalon
Last update: 9/16/2010
For the last year and a half, students from across the University -- including College of Design students from the Architecture, Graphic Design, and Interior Design disciplines -- have participated in the University's Solar Decathlon effort by designing, planning, and constructing an 800 square foot house powered solely by the sun. Called the ICON House -- because it employs a modified gable roof that maintains the familiar and iconic house form while maximizing exposure to the sun.
On October 16, 2009, the US Department of Energy announced the final results of the competition. The University of Minnesota entry, ICON house, took fifth place overall. The German team took first place, followed by Illinois, California, and the Canadian team. ICON house was judged to be the top entry in the lighting design and engineering categories and third in appliances and home entertainment.
Alumni invited to tour solar house and reception in Washington, DC
University of Minnesota alumni are invited to tour the Solar Decathlon entries on the national mall, Washington, DC, on Saturday, October 17, 2009 and then gather for a special reception at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum to celebrate with members of the University's entry design team. Team leaders will share an insider's view of the design process, contest, and unique features of the ICON Solar House. The Hirshhorn Museum's new director, Richard Koshalek (BA Architecture, 1965; MA Art History, 1968) will talk about his new role with the museum and vision for its future.
Public tours of the ICON Solar House on the Saint Paul campus
Public tours of the ICON Solar House, created by the U of M Solar Decathlon team, including many CDes students and faculty, will be held on the Saint Paul campus September 16, 17, and 18, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The house is located at 1894 Buford Place (one block north of Buford Avenue, the street McNeal Hall faces), off Gortner Avenue. A map to the ICON Solar House location (.pdf; 207Kb) is available.
The house is located in the midst of agricultural buildings. Buford Place becomes a dirt road, so if you visit, wear sturdy shoes.
Solar Decathlon competition
During three weeks in October 2009, the US Department of Energy will host the Solar Decathlon competition between 20 teams of university students, determining the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Each of the 20 entries will be displayed in the Solar Village on the National Mall in Washington DC, October 9-13, 2009 and October 15-18, 2009.
Entrants submitted proposals and plans which were evaluated by the Solar Decathlon Proposal Review Committee, consisting of scientists, engineers, and other experts from the US Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The committee selected 20 competitors.
The Solar Decathlon entries are judged on 10 criteria or "contests:"
- Architecture -- 100 points (subjective)
- Market viability -- 100 points (subjective)
- Engineering -- 100 points (subjective)
- Lighting design -- 75 points (subjective)
- Communications -- 75 points (subjective)
- Comfort zone -- 100 points (objective)
- Hot water -- 100 points (objective)
- Appliances -- 100 points (objective)
- Home entertainment -- 100 points (objective)
- Net metering -- 150 points (objective)
This is the University's first entry in the Solar Decathlon competition. The Solar House will be assembled and a mock competition will take place on the Saint Paul campus during the Minnesota State Fair.
- University Solar Decathlon Web site
- September 16, 2010: "ICON Solar House First Place Lighting Design"
- August 13, 2010: "ICON solar house team presents stories from the 2009 Solar Decathlon"
- ICON house virtual tour
- Minnesota Miles visits the Solar House
- October 16, 2009: "ICON house takes fifth place overall in Solar Decathlon"
- October 15, 2009: "MinnPost.com offers extensive coverage of Solar Decathlon"
- October 13, 2009: "New York Times covers Solar Decathlon"
- October 13, 2009: "Huffington Post publishes Solar Decathlon photos"
- October 13, 2009: Text message your vote for ICON house to Solar Decathlon's "People's Choice Award"
- October 8, 2009: "WCCO-TV interviews ICON house team leader Xu"
- September 29, 2009: "Minnesota Miles visits the Solar House" (video; 1:13)
- September 29, 2009: "Warners' Stellian features Solar Decathlon ICON house appliances"
- September 24, 2009: "Going to the Mall," by Rick Moore, UMNews
- September 18, 2009: "U of M hopes to win solar house competition," by Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio
- September 17, 2009: "Chasing the sun: U of M enters energy decathlon," by Sharon Schmickle, MinnPost.com
- September 17, 2009: Coverage of Solar Decathlon leads Fox9 newscast (video)
- September 16, 2009: "Solar Decathlon ICON house unveiled to the public"
- September 15, 2009: "U team's solar-powered house is headed to national contest"
- August 18, 2009: 2009 ICON Solar House -- Windows and Insulation (video)
- August 12, 2009: Solar Decathlon featured in Sept./Oct. Architecture MN
- August 7, 2009: The Solar House: The Very Tall Roof (video)
- July 30, 2009: Living a Learning Life: U's ICON Solar House: A Model for Minnesotan "Green" Living
- July 28, 2009: Minnesota Daily hosts Solar Decathlon update video
- July 22, 2009: Solar Decathlon featured in Daily
- July 16, 2009: Solar Decathlon team needs volunteers
- July 10, 2009: WCCO-TV anchor tours Solar Decathlon house
- June 30, 2009: Solar Decathlon featured on MPR
- May 27, 2009: Solar Decathlon team hosts preview event
- May 13, 2009: RE:charge with the Solar Decathlon team
- May 5, 2009: Solar Decathlon house construction phase begins
- March 25, 2009: Ann Johnson, Solar Decathlon project manager, to address Headliners
- December 2, 2008: Solar Decathlon featured in Finance and Commerce
- September 5, 2008: Solar Decathlon design progress review scheduled
- August 14, 2008: Solar Decathlon team begins drawing up plans
- August 8, 2008: Solar Decathlon participates in E3 2008 conference
- February 5, 2008: Solar Decathlon student group kick-off meeting
- January 24, 2008: College of Design to co-lead University's Solar Decathlon effort
- October 23, 2007: Greenlight to host Solar Decathlon information and visioning session