DENVER– WAC Lighting announces sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
“The Solar Decathlon offers an extraordinary opportunity for educating the next generation of architects, engineers, builders and homeowners about the role that solid state lighting plays in modern sustainable home building, energy design and green construction,” said WAC Lighting President Shelley Wald. “As a Responsible Lighting Company, we are extremely proud to support this Competition which showcases forward-thinking students in their use of advanced technologies to create sustainable, energy efficient living strategies.”
The Solar Decathlon is being held in October in Denver, Colorado, adjacent to the 61st & Peña station on the University of Colorado A line commuter train, connecting Denver International Airport to downtown Union Station. Free public tours of the energy-efficient houses are available from Thursday, Oct. 5 through Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 and Thursday, Oct. 12 through Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. Opening celebrations, contest awards and competition awards presentation will allow attendees to share in the excitement.
14 collegiate teams will create high-performance houses that reflect current market conditions, innovative building and the best in sustainable living. For the first time, participating teams are eligible for cash prizes. Each team that successfully builds a solar house at the site and completes the competition will receive $100,000. The third-place finisher will receive $150,000, the second-place team $225,000, and the first-place team will receive $300,000.
“The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges and inspires students to become our next green energy industry leaders,” said former Under Secretary of Energy for Science and Energy Dr. Franklin Orr. “The students in the Solar Decathlon competition gain invaluable hands-on experience on appealing designs, sustainable materials and cutting-edge technologies. Denver’s passion to create eco-friendly developments serves as a model for communities throughout the country and the world.”
During the Solar Decathlon 2017 there will be four official Education Days at which thousands of middle school students from all over Colorado and Wyoming will be bused to the Decathlon for an all-day field trip that will include special tours of the homes, fun workshops on energy conservation and renewable energy. A new Teachers Workshop Day will incorporate Project Based Learning (PBI) into the educator training program as well as a concentration on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The trade show element of this event, the Sustainability Expo, will showcase forward-thinking companies and nonprofit organizations that share strategies, products and technologies that can be incorporated into homes for today and tomorrow. Professional Development and Consumer Workshops enable organizers and sponsors to feature an array of green building and sustainability topics for builders, realtors, architects and consumers. A new feature for the Solar Decathlon is an Education Center that will distribute educational materials for students and teachers, as well as consumer educational materials on conservation, solar and energy saving products.
In addition to WAC Lighting, current sponsors include Wells Fargo, Schneider Electric, Panasonic, Westin Hotels, Danby, Beko appliances, US DOE, EPA among others. Previous sponsors include Tesla, Target, BP and Pella Windows.
About Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is more than a competition. It’s an intensive learning experience for consumers and homeowners to see the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions, water conservation, electric vehicles, and sustainable buildings.
The Solar Decathlon provides a hands-on experience and unique training that prepares students to enter the clean energy workforce. This international competition has been a driving force in raising awareness about clean energy since its inception in 2002. It has established a worldwide reputation as a successful educational program and workforce development opportunity for thousands of students and educating millions about the benefits, affordability, and availability of clean energy solutions by generating widespread media coverage and harnessing digital tools. For more information about the Solar Decathlon, visit www.solardecathlon.gov.