Solar Decathlon Review

By , October 21, 2013

The U.S. Department of Energy hosted its fourth Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA which took place from Thursday, October 3rd through Sunday, October 13th.  The award winning international competition gathered nineteen collegiate teams from around the world to showcase student designed and built solar-powered homes that encompass affordability, appeal and design excellence. The closest competition to date, this year’s Solar Decathlon jury faced numerous tough decisions since all of the homes produced more power than needed. University of Las Vegas Nevada received the overall second place title for their home, DESERTSOL, becoming the only American team to place in the top three.

Accumulating the awards for first place in categories titled Market Appeal and Hot Water, second place in Communications and third place in Engineering, DESERTSOL featured the latest technology and products. A key feature to their home included a NanaWall folding glass wall system that left the jury in awe. “NanaWall systems provide the best performance windows and doors. We were debating between many doors but when we got down to the technical’s after lots of research and by visiting a trade-show, the NanaWall system most certainly had the highest performance… they are [also] custom-made and offer flexibility,” says Alexia Chen, project manager. Designed for durability, performance, and aesthetics, each NanaWall system maximizes natural daylight, provides fresh air ventilation, and is energy efficient thereby decreasing the homes energy use.

When closed, the NanaWall systems provide unrivaled performance by protecting from water and air infiltration, sound attenuation, and weather resistance. Four out of the nineteen teams featured a NanaWall system in their home to achieve an indoor/outdoor living lifestyle and three of the teams received award recognitions. Team Stevens from Stevens Institute of Technology placed second place in Architecture and tied with UNLV for first place in Hot Water. Team USC placed third in Architecture and first place in Appliances. View images of the Solar Decathlon here: