Solar House Celebration Today

LEAFHouseToday, Tuesday Sept. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon, the University of Maryland’s Solar Decathlon Team will celebrate the completion of construction of LEAFHouse, its entry for this year’s international solar house competition on the National Mall in Washington. The event will be held in the parking lot adjacent to the construction site, east of the Architecture Building, and will feature a video tour of the house, readings from first year book The Ravaging Tide by Mike Tidwell, and free ice cream. In attendance for the LEAFHouse Celebration will be President Mote, as well as members of the Maryland Senate.

LEAFHouse will soon after be packed up and shipped to the Mall for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which runs October 12-20 and features twenty teams from around the world. The houses these teams have built over the past two years will then be judged on ten contests, ranging from architecture and engineering to market viability and the ability to power an electric car.

Maryland’s entry draws its name, as well as inspiration from the leaf, which the team views as nature’s ultimate solar panel. LEAF also stands for “Leading Everyone to an Abundant Future,” and LEAFHouse is meant to be an attractive, efficient demonstration of solar power as an integral part of a sustainable future, particularly here in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Sam is the LEAFHouse Outreach and Fundraising Student Team Leader

Solar House Groundraising Tomorrow

LEAFHouse SiteConstruction fencing for a new building has appeared on campus. However, the solar-powered structure that will appear on the site isn’t permanent: it’s the University of Maryland entry to the 2007 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, to be held on the national mall this October.

This Wednesday, April 4th, the University of Maryland LEAFHouse team will be hold a groundraising event at the School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning. The event, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., will feature site tours and presentations and a chance to meet the participants and sponsors of the LEAFHouse team. The event is free, and will be a great opportunity to get involved in and raise awareness of sustainable building practices. If you plan on attending, please email

LEAFHouse CribbingThe LEAFHouse is the University of Maryland’s 2007 entry into the Solar Decathlon, a national event organized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. A total of 20 schools have been selected to compete in this year’s event. Entries are judged on criteria ranging from the architecture, engineering, comfort, and even the hot water and lighting systems.

The University of Maryland’s project engages the Chesapeake Bay watershed context for a smart, adaptable, resource-efficient home powered by renewable energy. The house demonstrates both tradition and modern design practices that serve to make solar power an integral part of a sustainable lifestyle. The design of the LEAFHouse plans to balance energy resourceful technologies, green building practices, and modular and prefabricated construction techniques into an aesthetically pleasing design. The project team aims to produce an environmentally sensitive house that meets and surpasses the contest goals for sustainable energy independence. For more information visit