Back on the National Mall..?

3-3-11

As one of the twenty student teams of the US DOE Solar Decathlon, an international design competition for developing small net zero energy homes, we remain disappointed with the competition’s move off the main National Mall to a much more remote location. Students are concerned that the location change will negatively impact the ability of the teams to successfully compete this Fall 2011.

The announcement undercuts the educational values of the Solar Decathlon by demoting this prestigious solar event to an area inaccessible by public transportation, and a site whose different orientation may call for redesign during post-design or in construction phases. Additionally, its relocation seems to have dramatically reoriented the solar campus such that individual buildings mayhave have much more challenging solar conditions to deal with. This will impact team progress given these new logistical and financial consequences.

Additionally, this change has diverted precious energy away from attending to our projects as we attempt to reverse the decision by creating public awareness of the issue.

The original site is invaluable to the public, students, and our sponsors. The National Mall’s goals include the promotion of “sustainable approaches into designs.” As young professionals pioneering solar innovations to match our President’s agenda, we request that he restore the competition to its rightful place on the National Mall so as to effectively educate the public about sustainability and climate change. Please make your voice heard in highlighting this issue before the White House.

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