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Solar Decathlon House 2The Jonathan Merage Foundation was a proud sponsor of this year’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The sponsorship supported the collegiate teams who participated in the housing competition, challenging each DOE Solar Decathlon team to design and build a full-sized, solar-powered house that showcases cutting-edge materials and strategies, smart home systems, and energy- and water-efficient products that reduce energy and water use without sacrificing the comfort of modern conveniences. Each house also needed to be designed for a target market through design strategies, materials and equipment selection, cost, and more. The competition consisted of 10 contests that were scored based on their ability to blend design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency.

The event took place near Denver International Airport, providing plenty of open space for the houses to be placed. The public was encouraged to walk through each of the houses during the 10 days in which the decathlon was set-up. This past Sunday, the 11 teams, including four returning teams and seven new teams, were ranked based on their houses. The Swiss Team won the housing competition, followed by the Maryland team in second and the combined team of UC Berkeley and the University of Denver coming in third.Solar Decathlon House 4

“The foundation was interested in sponsoring projects related to alternative, non-centralized energy production,” said Jonathan Merage. “We wanted to provide additional opportunities for students participating in the decathlon”. The sponsorship from the Jonathan Merage Foundation was allocated to the team funds, specifically the housing competition winners.

Solar Decathlon House 1

Once the decathlon ended, many of the teams began to pack up their houses to have them sent to their final destinations. Some teams, however, will be leaving their houses here in Denver. Missouri S & T has sold their house to the City of Denver as a way to showcase the innovative designs. The Daytona Beach team is also considering selling their home to the city, with plans for the house to be given to the Habitat for Humanity.

To see more about the Solar Decathlon, visit their website.