The Solar Decathlon, the U.S. Department of Energy’s prestigious biennial competition, challenges elite collegiate teams from around the world to design, construct, and operate solar-powered homes that are both energy-efficient and aesthetically appealing. Selected from hundreds of contenders, 20 final teams from top universities around the country and the world – including Stanford and the University of Southern California – work collaboratively across disciplines for more than one year to design, build and effectively communicate about a final “sustainable home of the future.” During a 10-day competition in Irvine, California (October 3-13, 2013), the teams will be judged across a range of criteria focused on architecture, engineering, and the ability to effectively communicate about the team and the final product. The winner is the team that best balances all ten competitions that address the market appeal and design of the home, while optimizing energy production and maximizing efficiency.
Unprecedented University Collaboration from the Nation’s Capitol: Team Capitol DC
This year, for the first time, a newly-named Team Capitol DC represents three universities – Catholic University, George Washington University, and American University – for a city-wide presence at the competition. The three pillars of the competition are represented, respectively, by: Catholic University architecture students and faculty advisors, George Washington University engineering students and faculty advisors, and American University communication students and faculty advisors. Together, the teams will design and communicate – via integrated branding, digital and social media platforms, and video assets – about a revolutionary future concept home that will be built in Washington, D.C., and then transported more than 3,000 miles away for the final competition in California. Team Capitol DC will design and showcase a home that educates the public about opportunities presented by clean-energy products and provides student participants with unique professional training in skilled collaborative work across disciplines.
Although the final competition and judging phase takes place over a period of 10 days in October, the three-university team will collaborate all year (beginning December 2012) on the project and campaign that kicks off its building and development phase in January 2013.
AU Communication Team
Two AU SOC professors – Larry Engel, Associate Professor, Film & Media Arts, and Caty Borum Chattoo, Executive in Residence, Public Communication – will lead the integrated communication effort, working with a group of outstanding students from the Public Communication and Film & Media Arts divisions.