Team New Jersey's ENJOY! House on public display at U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, Sept. 23 through Oct. 2
Team New Jersey, a collaboration of students, faculty, and staff from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, is competing in the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 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.
Team New Jersey is led by the multidisciplinary Rutgers Center for Green Building at the Bloustein School and the NJIT College of Architecture and Design. Other units providing support include the Rutgers University School of Engineering, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, the Rutgers Center for Advanced Energy Systems, the Rutgers Energy Institute, and the Plangere Writing Center at Rutgers University.
The ENJOY house is a prototype whose design challenges traditional building techniques and suggests a new method of approaching high-performance energy-efficient housing. Precast insulated concrete panels are selected as the primary construction material in order to minimize construction time and for its thermal properties. The roof is an inverted hip-shape, designed for a north-facing site, is calibrated for optimal solar and rainwater collection. A band of clerestory windows just below the roof creates an illusion that the roof is floating, visually lightening the heavy weight of the concrete roof. For more information about the ENJOY! house, visit http://www.solarteamnewjersey.com/.
In addition to the official scoring of the houses, the Solar Decathlon also holds the People's Choice Award. The People's Choice Award is the public's chance to vote for their favorite house. Voting will begin on Friday, September 23 and end on Friday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, with the winner being announced on the website on Oct. 2. To vote, visit http://www.solardecathlon.gov/poll/pca/pca_register.php. Participants must register to vote, voting is limited to one vote per email address.
On Thursday, September 22 Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) visited the house site and congratulated the student and faculty collaborators on their hard work, presenting the group with a special resolution. Sen. Menendez has been a long-time supporter of the Solar Decathlon and in 2009, issued a public challenge to New Jersey's universities to compete at the event. Rutgers and NJIT answered the senator's challenge, and Sen. Menendez has been one of the Team's most avid supporters over the past year and a half of design and construction.
This year's Solar Decathlon is being held at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. The Solar Decathlon is open to the public Sept. 23–Oct. 2, 2011, weekdays: 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and weekends: 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.