Purdue takes second in solar home competition

October 1, 2011

West Lafayette, Ind. -- Purdue University finished second in the Solar Decathlon 2011, a solar house competition in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Purdue's INhome solar house earned a total of 931.390 points out of a possible 1,000. It was second only to the University of Maryland with 951.151 points.

Nineteen teams, including four from outside the United States, designed and built affordable, energy-efficient, solar-powered homes for the competition.

Work on INhome involved more than 200 students from six colleges and schools: Technology, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Agriculture, Krannert, and Health and Human Sciences.

 "This is just a phenomenal win for Purdue," said an elated Eric Holt, a doctoral student in building construction management in the College of Technology and the construction manager for the INhome project. "What set us apart in the competition was our team. It just shows how well Purdue students can do."

The solar houses were judged in 10 areas, each worth 100 points. Purdue's scores in each competition were: architecture, 80; market appeal, 91; engineering, 87; communications, 83; affordability, 99.215; comfort zone, 98.529; hot water, 98.750; appliances, 97.333; home entertainment, 96.563; and energy balance, 100.

According to DOE competition rules, a house was to be net-zero for energy consumption, which means it must produce at least as much energy as it uses. Purdue's two-bedroom, one-bath house is 984 square feet with an open-plan kitchen-living-dining area and a utility room. It also has a garage.

More information on INhome is available at http://www.purdue.edu/inhome

More information on Solar Decathlon 2011 is available at http://www.solardecathlon.gov

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu  
Sources: Eric Holt, 765-404-3441, eaholt@purdue.edu 
McKenna Regan, head of marketing and communications for INhome, 574-274-4249, regan0@purdue.edu


Note to Journalists: Video B-roll and still photos from the INhome construction in Washington, D.C., are available at ftp://news69.uns.purdue.edu/Public/ in a directory named SolarDecathlon. The Department of Energy plans to have video B-roll from the awards ceremony, winning houses and winning teams posted by 4 a.m. Monday at http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/b_roll_sd.cfm. For more information, including student hometowns, contact Jim Schenke at 765-237-7296 or Judith Austin at jbaustin@purdue.edu