The 2009 Solar Decathlon competition is underway in Washington, DC. Twenty teams from around the world, including Iowa Sate University, arrived last week to reassemble their solar houses along Decathlete Way on the National Mall. Public tours began yesterday and continue through next Sunday, October 18. All twenty solar houses will be closed to the public on Wednesday for judging and measurement purposes.
It has been interesting and exciting to watch the project progress from design to construction here at Iowa State. So far the Interlock House has been doing pretty well in the score standings, which are judged on ten categories and continuously updated throughout the week.
Seen above is Iowa State Project Engineer Tim Lentz working on the Interlock House roof on the National Mall in DC on Tuesday. The photo was featured on the White House blog this week. (Photo credit: Stefano Paltera / US Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon)
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I was in Ames this past weekend where my friend Eric Berkson, IT Coordinator for the Iowa State Solar Decathlon team, gave me a tour of their solar powered house under construction. Called the Interlock House, it utilizes a NanaWall system on the south facade to create a versatile sunspace that can be closed as a solar-collecting greenhouse in winter, a recessed exterior porch for summer, or completely open for cross-ventilation. It is a very cool system. The 2009 Solar Decathlon competition will be held October 9 – 18, on the National Mall in Washington, DC, where the Interlock House and 19 other competing solar houses will be reconstructed and open to the public. The Interlock House website includes an interesting photo blog, which I borrowed the following photo from.
> ISU Solar Decathlon 2009: Blog
The Iowa State Solar Decathlon has debuted a webcam today, providing a live feed of the construction progress of the Interlock House. The building site is in a warehouse near the ISU Research Park. The house will be built in to module sections for transportation purposes and the whole house will be about 40 feet long by 20 feet.
> ISU Solar Decathlon 2009: Construction Webcam