After being in the construction business in one form or another for more than 20 years, I often feel jaded by our lack of progress in building long-lasting, energy-efficient homes despite decades of trying. Well, my trip last week to the 2011 Solar Decathlon has given me renewed hope. The young people who designed and built the 19 homes in the event had more smarts and enthusiasm than I could ever have anticipated. And they made really nice houses, too. Even the designs and features I was skeptical of proved thought-provoking and interesting. The winner of the event will be announced tomorrow (October 1). Soon after, Green Building Advisor and Fine Homebuilding will announce our own winner.
Help choose a winner
Part of our judging criteria will include your input, so read up on each entry in the individual write-ups that Richard Defendorf has compiled and place your vote using the “Helpful?” box at the top of each individual team page at GBA (find a list of them all here: 2011 Solar Decathlon Resource Guide. All of us at The Taunton Press would like to congratulate all the participants for a job well done. And I’ll sleep better at night knowing that these young folks are building a better world. What’s more, they’re building it with their own hands. Patrick McCombe