October 17, 2005

C.U. Solar House Wins 2nd Place

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Cornell’s Solar Decathlon team took second place to defending champion University of Colorado, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman ’61 announced on Friday.

Colorado placed first with 853 points out of a possible 1,100, while Cornell received 826 points and third-place finisher California Polytechnic State University received 809 points.

The competition included 18 teams from the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Spain. The teams were challenged to “design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home,” according to the Solar Decathlon website.

The houses were on display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from Oct. 7-16.

They were judged in 10 areas, including architecture, livability and comfort and had to provide their own heating, cooling, hot water, lighting and energy for appliances.

“We should all be proud of what these students have accomplished,” Bodman said in a press release. “Through their ingenuity, their knowledge of design and engineering, and an incredible amount of determination and hard work, they have demonstrated that we can have it all beautiful homes, comfortable homes, and homes that produce all the power they need.”

According to Larissa Kaplan ’06, a project leader, Colorado’s experience helped them toward their victory. However, she was proud of the Cornell team’s finish.

“I was expecting that the teams that had been there before to do well,” she said. “Colorado knew it was about innovation, we were just making sure we got the house built for the first time.”

“I knew we had a good entry,” she said. “I was not surprised that we got second. I knew we would do well against the new teams.”

“We were shooting for top five, so coming in second was amazing,” said Hilary Corsun ’06.

Corsun said that the team is planning to give tours of the house when it arrives back in Ithaca.

“We are hoping that our fellow students will come out to see us,” she said.

Kaplan said that the next decathlon will be held in 2007, and that Cornell plans to have a team.

“We are looking to get people interested and excited for the next competition,” she said.

Archived article by Sun Staff