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UNC Charlotte Places 13th At Solar Decathlon

UNC Charlotte's solar house, UrbanEden, placed 13 out of 19th in the 2013 Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif., that ended this past weekend, but the team went home with the People's Choice Award.

Credit UNC Charlotte
A digital rendering of UNC Charlotte's solar house, which placed 13 out of 19 at this weekend's solar decathlon.

Team Austria won first place in the competition, the University of Nevada Las Vegas won second and the Czech Republic won third. 

UNC Charlotte also tied with Team Austria and UNLV for third place in engineering. The UNC Charlotte team’s house was recognized for its geopolymer concrete walls, capillary tube cooling system, and 36 moveable racks of solar panels on its roof.

The $350,686 solar house also includes glass walls that line the back of the rooms, a spacious back porch, waterproof furniture, a vertical garden that provides privacy and a small pond. UNC Charlotte placed last in the affordability contest because judges estimated the house cost more than the $250,000 standard set by the judges. 

UNC Charlotte's Individual Contest Standings: 

  • Energy Balance: 1st Place (100/100, Tied: All Teams ) 
  • Engineering: 3rd Place (93/100, Tied: Team Austria)
  • Hot Water: 4th Place (93/100, Tied: Norwich & Team Capitol DC)
  • Home Entertainment: 5th Place (98/100)
  • Architecture: 8th Place (70/100, Tied: Santa Clara & Team Ontario)
  • Communications: 8th Place (75/100, Tied: Kentucky/Indiana)
  • Comfort Zone: 9th Place (95/100)
  • Market Appeal: 10th Place (82/100, Tied: Kentucky/Indiana & Santa Clara)
  • Appliances: 13th Place (93/100)
  • Affordability: 17th Place (79/100) 

The team will dismantle their solar house this week and return the house to UNC Charlotte.
“We are all so proud of our incredible team,” says Chris Jarrett, director of the School of Architecture. “The countless hours over two years – the dedication, belief, sweat and tears, the aspiration, creativity, hope and collaboration – have been an inspiration to everyone.”