Nearly two years after their win in
Washington, DC at the U.S Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, several team members from WaterShed, UMD’s first place winning entry, are getting the opportunity to lend their talent
and design expertise to competitive forums around the world.
Brittany Williams, a lecturer with UMD’s architecture program and Faculty Advisor for WaterShed, has been selected to be the Competition Manager for Solar Decathlon China 2013 (SD China). Williams will spend the next six months shuttling between her home base in Beijing and the competition site in Datong, Northern China. Williams, a 2008 UMD graduate of the Master of Architecture program, has a long history of decathlons under her belt, also serving as an Architecture Team Leader during graduate school for LEAFHouse, which placed second in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007.
SD China is the most recent addition to the Solar Decathlon competitions, joining Solar Decathlon Europe and the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in challenging collegiate teams from around the world to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. A partnership between China’s National Energy Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy, Peking University and Applied Materials, this August’s competition is the inaugural year for SD China.
Associate Professor and WaterShed Principal Investigator Amy Gardner will travel to Oman in March with student team leaders David Gavin (M.ARCH ’12) and David Daily (Masters of Science in Systems Engineering Candidate) to lead a pre-competition workshop for the Eco House Design Competition (EHDC). A Solar Decathlon “sister” competition, the EHDC challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate eco-friendly houses, combining consumer appeal and optimal energy efficiency into an attractive, thoughtfully designed package. Together with Michael Wassmer, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition manager from 200-2011, Gardner, Gavin, and Daily will share the principles of UMD’s approach to the Solar Decathlon, from building relationships with sponsors, professionals and suppliers to construction management and competition strategy.
WATERSHED REASSEMBLY UNDERWAY
Closer to home, team members have been hard at work this past year readying WaterShed for its permanent location at Pepco’s Rockville facility, including the design of two additional modules. Spearheaded by Architecture Lecturer and WaterShed Faculty Advisor Brian Grieb, Student Leader David Gavin (M.ARCH ’12) and Professional Mentor and team corporate sponsor Taz Ezzat, President of Maryland Custom Builders, the two sister modules will maintain the same standards in energy efficiency and sustainability as WaterShed. This dynamic addition to the original footprint will create an extensive research and education campus for Pepco and provide additional opportunities for the public. The complex process of adapting WaterShed’s living systems to the new site, re-implementing the solar panel systems and addressing the various site challenges have been an around the clock job for the team. A hearing will the Rockville Planning Commission this past week completed the permit process, which will propel much of the year’s planning into motion.
Since its first place win in 2011, WaterShed has collected a number of accolades and awards for sustainable and inspirational design, including a Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), DC chapter, a Maryland AIA Design Award, and a Chesapeake Bay AIA Design Award. The Maryland State Senate and House also recognized the team in a proclamation last January and a book depicting the team’s experience in designing and building WaterShed, as well as the subsequent competition, was published last spring. WaterShed continues to serve as an example of innovative, sustainable design in articles and publications all over the world.