Introduction  Team  House  Story  Sponsors  Webcam ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ten contests

As in an Olympic decathlon, ten individual contests make up the Solar Decathlon. For the LEAFHouse Team, the Solar Decathlon is an opportunity to question the way we live in the 21st century.   How do we create a way of life which is beneficial for the environment and not simply less damaging?

Read on to learn about Maryland's approach to the contests of the Decathlon.


The architecture competition evaluates the LEAFHouse Team's ability to design and build a smart, adaptable, resource-efficient home that makes solar power an integral part of an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. (200 points)

Read More »

Functional and innovative engineering design is integral to running the energy-efficient 21st century home that makes solar energy the key to a high quality of life.  This contest evaluates how well LEAFHouse marries engineering to architecture. (150 points)

Read More »
Market Viability

Energy efficiency and renewable solar power are essential to a modern sustainable environmentally-supportive lifestyle.  The market viability contest evaluates how effectively LEAFHouse's design creates a livable  high-quality adaptable residence that is buildable at a marketable cost.  (150 points)

Read More »

While LEAFHouse is a model of the affordable energy-efficient 21st century home, many of its alternative solar energy technologies are readily available for consumers to incorporate in their current lives and homes.  The communications contest evaluates how well the team engages visitors to both the built and virtual  LEAFHouse sites.  (100 points)

Read More »
Comfort Zone

LEAFHouse uses both new and old technologies to provide comfort control.  Indoor humidity and temperature are maintained with the innovative Liquid Desiccant Waterfall system to remove humidity, while the ancient technology of radiant heating is utilized for heat.  This contest measures compliance to narrow humidity and temperature ranges.  (100 points)

Read More »
Hot Water

Hot water is essential to the routines of domestic life.  This competition evaluates LEAFHouse's integration of energy-saving and water conservation strategies and technologies to provide enough energy to heat water required for daily tasks. (100 points)

Read More »

Household appliances are icons of the modern home, however, their time- and labor-saving benefits are accompanied by high energy costs.  In this contest LEAFHouse's sophisticated photovoltaic (PV) power system demonstrates that it provides all of the electrical energy required to operate its appliances.  (100 points)

Read More »

Illumination delights us, it gives us a sense of well-being, while at the same time controls the ambience of any environment.  The lighting contest will evaluate how well the LEAFHouse Team has attended to a variety of lighting options to meet the needs of particular spaces and uses.  (100 points)

Read More »
Energy Balance
The environmentally sustainable house of the 21st century is energy independent.  This competition will demonstrate that LEAFHouse's "off-grid"  photovoltaic (PV) power system harnesses from the sun 100% of the energy required for household electricity and transportation needs. (100 points)
Read More »
Getting Around

In this contest, the judges rate how much energy LEAFHouse can provide to "getting around" by measuring how many miles the team drives its street-legal commercial electric vehicle. (100 points)

Read More »






Select a contest, or jump into in-depth articles about the  architecture, systems, and cost of the house.
login . contact