The Solar Decathlon is an annual event that normally is held in Washington DC on the National Mall. But the National Mall is under construction, and fortunately for us, the winning site for this year’s Solar Decathlon is the OC Great Park in Irvine. AND it is Free but parking is $5.
The Decathlon pits collegiate teams against each other to make the most affordable, solar ready, accessible dwelling. I must say I was very impressed, and had a great time visiting the homes and seeing all the amazing inventions. My favorite was Team DC Capital, which had created amazing louvers that are passive but responsive to heat. A wire that expands and contracts opened the louvers when the temperature dropped and closed them when it reached 80 degrees.
You can also test ride power assisted bikes, and hydrogen powered cars, as well as electric models.
The Decathlon ends this weekend and is open Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. I highly recommend that you visit these homes and gardens, because it may move back to DC next year!
Find out more at: http://www.solardecathlon.gov/
Stephanie V. Landregan, FASLA, LEED® AP, Program Director
President, Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards