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Bloomberg News

University of Maryland Students Win Solar Homebuilding Contest

October 01, 2011

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Students from the University of Maryland won the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored contest meant to encourage students to build energy-efficient homes.

Maryland built a home called WaterShed, which was based on tapping resources and ideas from the Chesapeake Bay near the university’s College Park campus. Purdue University took second place and Victoria University from Wellington, New Zealand, was third.

“The houses on display blend affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement today announcing the results.

This is the fifth such contest to be held in Washington. Under the rules, homes can’t be larger than 1,000 square feet (93 square meters) and must use commercially available appliances and solar technology. The structures were judged in 10 classifications including water-heating efficiency, market appeal and affordability.

Students from China competed in the event for the first time this year. The team from Tongji University took 15th place out of the 19 ranked at the end.

--Editors: Paul Tighe, Jim McDonald

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at

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