Out of 20 teams, seven had radiant heating and/or cooling systems (six under-floor and one ceiling application). Compare this to the first contest in 2002, where five homes used radiant under-floor heating.
Several homes used geothermal or ground-source heat pump systems to heat and cool the houses, although geothermal had to be simulated since teams couldn’t drill 500-foot holes in the National Mall ground.
Each team is challenged to design, build and operate the most attractive and efficient solar-powered house. The overall winner of this year’s contest was Team Germany from Darmstadt, Germany - the team’s second victory after winning the 2007 competition. The University of Illinois took second place and Team California (Santa Clara University and California College of the Arts) took third place.
It sure is an innovative way to keep plastic water bottles out of the landfill…