University teams from around the world have been on the National Mall in Washington D.C. this week building and displaying their designs for the U.S. Department of Energy's 2009 Solar Decathlon competition. In addition to educating the public about the potential solar energy has to power our homes, the university teams are competing in ten contests centered on the ways we use energy in our daily lives. Already, Team California's Refract House has taken the prize for Architecture with a near-perfect score and "Beau Soleil," The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's house designed with disaster survivability in mind, has won for for Market Viability. All the teams' houses are inspiring works of art and sustainability, and there's still plenty more contests to go before the Decathlon ends.
Dell has been a big fan of this contest (and sustainability in general!) for a while, and we are very pleased to play a role in the Decathlon this year. We are hosting the voting in the People's Choice competition, and you needn't be on the National Mall to participate. Participation is easy: A virtual tour of each team's design is available here. Once you've watched the teams' virtual tour videos, you can vote on your favorite by texting the number on the left side of each video. The competition is especially stiff this year, so make your choice carefully and vote on your favorite. The voting closes this Friday (Oct. 16), and the winner will be announced at the Victory Reception on Saturday (Oct. 17).
If you're like me and weren't able to make it to D.C. to see the houses in person, don't fret. Coverage of the event has been great, and nearly every detail of the houses and the competition in general has been just a mouse click away.
- You can follow Tweets from the event here.
- Regular blog and status updates are available on their Facebook page.
- Loads of cool pictures are available on their Flickr page.
- All videos (including b-roll) from the event are being collected on their YouTube page. The time lapse video of the solar village on the National Mall being built is especially awesome.
As far as external coverage goes, all the usual suspects in the environmental blogosphere have been present and busy. I have been especially impressed with Inhabitat's thorough and insightful coverage.
From what I've seen online, this year's Solar Decathlon is shaping up to be a huge success. Every year this event garners more and more attention, and more eyes on solar power is great news for the sustainability movement as whole. Don't be surprised if one of the students participating in the competition becomes a global leader and innovator in the green energy and design movement.
And remember: Once you've taken in all the designs, photos, videos and coverage for the event, don't forget to text in your vote for your favorite design in the People's Choice competition!