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UNLV solar home takes second place in Solar Decathlon

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Updated: 10/12/2013 2:03 pm
IRVINE, Calif. -- The UNLV team won second place overall in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon contest today for its DesertSol home that blended consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

“This was truly an honor and a privilege to be here,” said project manager Alexia Chen when she accepted the award for her team. “This is an incredible and truly innovative team of architects, engineers, communicators and more. We thank our mentors at the university and throughout the community who have helped us make it to this point. This was truly a life-changing experience and everything we got from this experience was incredible.

”Solar Decathlon judges said the contest was closer than ever, reflecting the quality of the competition homes.

The points spread between the winning teams was only two to three points, officials said.

Team Austria, representing the Vienna University of Technology, won first place overall.

UNLV’s team also tied for third place in the engineering contest, which evaluates the home for functionality, efficiency, innovation, reliability and documentation.

Previous rankings included: tied for No. 5 in the architecture contest, which judges the team on how solar and energy-efficient technologies are integrated seamlessly into the design; first place ranking in the market appeal category, which evaluated the livability, marketability, and constructability of each house and its appeal toward its target client; tied for No. 1 in hot water, which assesses if a home’s water heating system can supply all the water needed for washing and bathing; placed third in home entertainment, which measures how well the home accommodates the pleasures of living, such as sharing meals with friends and family, watching movies in a home theater, and surfing the web; took fourth in comfort zone, which tasks the team with keeping the home temperature and humidity steady, uniform, and comfortable.

The international competition educates the public about energy-saving residential designs. It requires collegiate teams to design, build and maintain a sustainable solar-powered home.

This is a student-run project, with guidance and support from faculty members, industry mentors and community supporters.

After the competition, the DesertSol home will be installed at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve.

For more information on Team Las Vegas, visit the website or the Facebook page.

-- UNLV news release
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