Solar Decathlon

Every two years, the Department of Energy puts on the Solar Decathlon, a spirited competition among academic institutions to build energy efficient housing. They use the word "sustainable" a lot there and there are different aspects of the competition that probe that word and its application to architecture, engineering and even appliances.  

A friend came down from the Bay Area to my house in LA and dragged me off to the site in Irvine on October 18, 2015.  About twenty entries consisting of actual houses were built on a site of an old Air Force Base.  There was an entry from my alma mater, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and they won third place in complex judging program.  You can see their entry here: http://www.solardecathlon.gov/2015/competition-team-cal-poly.html

Of course, I thought they should win first place, but many entries were excellent and all had some major significant contributions to sustainability.  The major success for me of the excursion is that I learned that sustainability is a state of mind.  Since my book is centered on a state of mind, cooperation, I interviewed some students about how the process was conducted at Cal Poly to get the building designed, built and moved to Irvine from San Luis Obispo.  The process was a mirror of my work in studios at Cal Poly in 2012 and 2013.  Much time was spent in planning and organizing the construction of the entry, all of it with a cooperative approach.  The construction of the house, the moving and reconstruction in Irvine was funded for about $650,000.  

Congratulations to the CalPoly team in the 2015 Solar Decathlon and to all the other participants.  The next one is in Denver, near the airport in 2017.