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GREEN HOMEBUILDING
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Dates set for Solar Decathlon at O.C. Great Park

Collegiate teams will compete to design and build solar homes at the Park

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: March 15, 2012 10:05 AM

The U.S. Dept. of Energy has announced the official dates for the 2013 Solar Decathlon, set to take place at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. This is the first time the biennial event will occur outside of Washington D.C. Next year’s event is scheduled for Oct. 3 to 13.

The Solar Decathlon is a months-long collegiate competition that pits international teams to design, build and demonstrate solar-powered homes that are energy efficient, affordable, cost-effective and aesthetically appealing.

Construction of the team project houses will begin on Sept. 23. The ‘Solar Village’ will be arranged on the runways –– vestiges of the former El Toro Marine Air Force Base –– where the homes will be built and displayed. The competition homes will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 3 to Oct. 6 and Oct. 10 to Oct. 13.

"We look forward to the arrival of the Energy Department's Solar Decathlon to the Great Park in October 2013," said Mike Ellzey, CEO of the Orange County Great Park Board Corporation. "This event will showcase the Park's commitment to sustainability, education and public engagement and will bring economic benefits to the Southern California region."

The Great Park location was selected to host the event following a nationwide search for appropriate venues that could accommodate the scope of the projects. Beth Krom, chair of the Orange County Great Park Corporation Board of Directors, said in January, when the announcement of the 2013 location was made, that the Great Park is proud to be hosting the Solar Decathlon.

"This unique event fits perfectly with our vision and focus on innovation, sustainability and community engagement. We are excited and look forward to working with the Department of Energy, the participating universities and our community partners to put on an extraordinary event," Krom said.

The 20 teams that will participate in next year’s competition hail from 30 universities and colleges. Other nations are represented by teams from Austria, Canada and the Czech Republic. Past years have seen teams compete from China, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Puerto Rico.


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