The biennial competition to build attractive, appealing, solar-powered homes is now underway, with the 2013 Solar Decathlon's opening ceremonies being held today. Unlike previous years, when the event has been held on the National Mall in Washington DC, this year the Decathlon is being held in Irvine CA. Nineteen teams from across the US and Canada, as well as teams from Austria and the Czech Republic are taking part in this year's event.
The Solar Decathlon is made up of 10 different events judging a range of features of these designs, including their energy performance, the livability of each house, and the overall construction budget. This year's entrants are targeting an estimated real-world construction cost of not more than $250,000.
In addition to the competition itself, there is an exposition called XPO being held adjacent to the Decathlon. This program contains a number of clean, renewable, and energy efficient products and demonstrations. According to the Department of Energy, "The winner of the overall competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. "
The competition and exhibition of these projects continues through Sunday, October 13, 2013. The overall winner of this year's Decathlon is scheduled to be announced on Saturday, October 12.
image credit: Richard King/U.S. Department of Energy
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