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  3. Update: WaterShed Wins Architecture / Solar Decathlon

Update: WaterShed Wins Architecture / Solar Decathlon

Update: WaterShed Wins Architecture / Solar Decathlon

Yesterday, we shared the news of Empowerhouse’s win in the affordability contest - the first of ten contests comprising the Solar Decathlon. The second contest, and one of the most prestigious of the competition, judges the projects’ architecture…and this year’s winner is the University of Maryland’s WaterShed. Totaling 96 points, Maryland’s WaterShed surpassed New Zealand with 95 points and Appalachian State with 94 points. Thus far, Maryland has had a strong showing at the competition as the residence has placed first overall for 4 out of the 5 competition days. “WaterShed achieves an elegant mix of inspiration, function, and simplicity. It takes our current greatest challenges in the built environment—energy and water—and transforms them into opportunities for spatial beauty and poetry while maintaining livability in every square inch,” said Architecture Contest Juror Michelle Kaufmann.

More about Maryland’s design after the break.  

Focusing on addressing water and energy shortages, WaterShed is a model of how to manage storm water onsite by filtering pollutants from greywater and minimizing water use.

In terms of the project’s architecture, WaterShed’s split butterfly roofline is designed to highlight storm water runoff from each module, directing and collecting it into the water axis at the core of the house. Water used within the house intersects this axis through a consolidated mechanical core.

Spatially, the house is designed as two “shed” modules slid apart along the central water axis and connected by a third module: the hyphen. The two larger modules express the programmatic intent of a live/work environment by physically separating the public and private realms. The hyphen houses the bathroom and highlights the connection between interior water uses and the wetland axis outside.

The jury evaluated all 19 residences on their architectural elements (such as scale and proportion of room and facade features, indoor/outdoor connections, composition and linking of various house elements); holistic design (an architectural design that will be comfortable for occupants and compatible with the surrounding environment); lighting; inspiration; and documentation that includes drawings, a project manual, and an audiovisual architecture presentation that accurately reflect the constructed project on the competition site.

Congratulations to team Maryland! We’ll keep you updated on the results of the remaining contests throughout the week.

Source: DOE Solar Decathlon

About this author
Karen Cilento

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Cite: Karen Cilento. "Update: WaterShed Wins Architecture / Solar Decathlon" 29 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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