The University of Maryland placed first in the U.S. Department of Energy’s biennial Solar Decathlon, which took place Sept. 23–Oct. 2. The decathlon challenges university students to design solar-powered homes that are attractive and affordable.
Maryland’s entry, WaterShed, was inspired by the Chesapeake Bay environment and is both energy- and water-efficient. Split into two modules, WaterShed has a solar roof and a green roof that slope toward each other, capturing excess rainwater in a central wetland cistern. The wetland is also responsible for filtering graywater from the shower, clothes washer, and dishwasher. Water conservation features include graywater reuse for irrigation, water efficient appliances, and native landscaping. See pictures and take a virtual tour.