A team of 200 Maryland students, faculty and mentors from multiple disciplines designed and built WaterShed to blend solar energy efficiency and water conservation. They drew their inspiration from the Chesapeake Bay.
Amy Gardner and the WaterShed team find that winning is sweet Credit: Stefano Paltera/DOE
"The innovation, creativity, skill, vision, cooperation, determination, and, yes, energy displayed by this team is both remarkable and a joy," says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "I couldn't be more proud of their work and accomplishment. These students, faculty and mentors have dedicated themselves to addressing critical needs of Maryland, the nation, and other countries. They're the perfect example of what a public research university is all about."
The international competition challenges 20 finalist collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.
Panels of experts judge the competing entries on ten dimensions, and the Terps came in first overall, and placed first in Architecture, Energy Balance and Hot Water.
U.S. Energy Secretary Chu gets a look at WaterShed's thermal engineering Credit: Stefano Paltera/DOE
"WaterShed achieves an elegant mix of inspiration, function, and simplicity," reported Architecture Juror Michelle Kaufman. "It takes our current greatest challenges in the built environment - energy and water - and transforms them into opportunities for spatial beauty and poetry while maintaining livability in every square inch."
The Maryland team was the only one from the state and the Washington, D.C. area, and their performance over the past several days generated growing excitement.
-Kudos to the UMD WaterShed Team-
"I'm more than proud that the Maryland WaterShed team's vision and effort was recognized as a first-place accomplishment on the international stage. The team's innovation and commitment to sustainability is a terrific representation of the state itself. Their work not only shines, but contributes to a better, stronger Maryland. Go Terps!" Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley
"Mr. President, today I
wish to congratulate the University of
Maryland, UMD, for winning the U.S.
Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2011 competition....I am so proud of the collaborative efforts
of more than 200 UMD students,
faculty, and mentors from diverse disciplines across the campus who participated in making their entry, WaterShed, such a resounding success....The University
of Maryland's work in publicizing
and promoting sustainable housing
options like WaterShed for the residents of the Chesapeake Bay region
will go a long way toward preserving
this treasured resource....The success of WaterShed is the pinnacle
of a long history of achievement
for the University of Maryland in the
Solar Decathlon competition...." Sen. Ben Cardin, in a statement in the Congressional Record.
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a talented team of students from my alma mater, the University of Maryland, who this weekend won first place at the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2011 here in Washington....By blending innovation and technology with sustainability and conservation, these students demonstrated the creativity, teamwork, technical knowledge, and determination that are essential as we work to revive our economy and regain our nation's place as a leader in high tech and sustainable manufacturing...." Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) in a statement submitted into the Congressional Record.
"These students from diverse disciplines effectively formed a cohesive team to imagine, invent, and make real the project we call WaterShed," says the project's principal investigator Amy Gardner, an associate professor of architecture at the University Maryland. "Interdisciplinary problem solving is the way forward towards a more sustainable future."
KUDOS FROM THE DEANS
"Winning the Solar Decathlon 2011 competition is a true testament to the Maryland terrapin spirit. Just like our famous mascot, our team was willing to take risk and 'stick its collective neck out' - not only to design and build an energy efficient home, but also to focus that design on water conservation and its impact on living systems. This was truly a novel and innovative approach. I believe WaterShed's innovations and our focus on the Chesapeake region captured the imaginations of the competition evaluators. This was truly a team effort involving students from architecture, preservation and planning, engineering, and agriculture and natural resources, as well as many friends and sponsors. We are simply proud of this major accomplishment for our university, state and nation." Dean Darryll Pines, UMD Clark School of Engineering
"The talented group of students and faculty behind WaterShed has shown that sustainable design can be affordable and a thing of beauty. They not only tackled the need for renewable energy efficiency, but also the huge issues we have with water and food. Congratulations, team Maryland, on this tremendous achievement!" Dean David Cronrath, UMD School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
"Congratulations to UMD's WaterShed team and faculty sponsors on winning the 2011 Solar Decathlon against an international field of contestants! It is wonderful that these bright students from across multiple disciplines on campus were successful in designing a solar powered house that demonstrated the importance of water and the vital role that ecological technologies can play in its protection." Dean Cheng-i Wei, UMD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
INSPIRED BY THE BAY
Inspired by the Chesapeake Bay, the power of WaterShed's design comes from its twin focus on efficient, renewable energy and water quality and conservation, Gardner adds. It harvests, recycles and reuses water, while harmonizing modernity, tradition, and simple building strategies. The house balances time-tested best practices and advanced technological solutions to achieve high efficiency performance in an affordable manner.
WaterShed integrates a unique array of sustainable features, including:
A split-butterfly roof, well-suited to capture and use both sunlight and rainwater;
Constructed wetlands that filter stormwater and greywater (household water with limited contaminants);
A green roof to retain rainwater and promote efficient cooling;
A photovoltaic array to harvest enough solar energy to power WaterShed year-round;
A solar thermal array to fulfill all domestic hot water needs;
"Edible landscapes" that support community-based agriculture;
Patent-pending indoor, liquid desiccant waterfall for high-efficiency humidity control;
An efficient, cost-effective, durable and time-tested structural system.
Credit: Stefano Paltera/DOE
"Taken together, these design features make WaterShed less thirsty for fossil fuels than standard homes and less dependent on costly water purifying infrastructure," explain team members Allison Wilson and Leah Davies. "The house acts as a micro-ecosystem that encourages residents to live a more sustainable lifestyle - not only by conserving but also by capturing and reusing natural resources."
DEHUMIDIFYING INDOOR WATERFALL
Liquid dessicant waterfall up close
Among WaterShed's innovations is the patent-pending indoor waterfall, which first debuted in the team's 2007 entry in the competition, LEAFHouse. "The waterfall provides humidity control in an aesthetically pleasing manner, and quickly brought an explosion of interest," explains Gardner, who served as principal investigator on both LEAFHouse and WaterShed.
Maryland Engineering Professor Reinhard Rademacher proposed that a system like this one could work, and students proceeded to develop it. "Student entrepreneurship and innovation suffuses this whole competition," says University of Maryland Dean of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, David Cronrath.
BUILDING ON SUCCESS
In 2007, the Maryland team placed second overall and first among U.S. participants. WaterShed builds on the success of that entry - LEAFHouse - and carries the design to the next level.
The Maryland Solar Decathlon Team involves students and faculty from the Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, the University Libraries, and the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Maryland businesses and professional groups are providing significant support as well.
Amy Gardner AIA LEED-AP
Assoc Prof & Principal Investigator, WaterShed
UMD School of Architecture Planning and Preservation
202-905-6574 (Cell) firstname.lastname@example.org