Milgard's industry-leading stand on energy efficiency was on display at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as part of Team California's entry in the U.S. Department of Energy's fourth Solar Decathlon competition. For three weeks, 20 teams of college students competed to design, build and operate the most attractive, marketable and energy-efficient 800-square-foot solar powered home.
Designed with the idea that sustainability and green living don't have to involve compromise or sacrifice, the house is a striking example of modern building technology and how our homes can be energy efficient and also very livable.
"Milgard is proud to have been a part of the Team California entry," said Scott Morgan, VP of sales and marketing for Milgard. "The students from Santa Clara University and California College of the Arts designed and built a beautiful house with a unique design that incorporated an impressive amount of glass, making its enclosed courtyard part of the home's living area."
The house was designed to take full advantage of the sunny California climate. The home's windows and multiple sliding glass doors utilize Milgard's thermally-improved aluminum technology. Milgard partnered with Southwall Technologies and used their Heat Mirror® insulating glass for the highest possible thermal performance. Where Heat Mirror glass could not be used Milgard used SunCoat MAX® Low-E glass to maximize efficiency and help maintain steady, uniform indoor temperature and humidity for greater comfort.
Team California's entry placed third overall, with high marks in all categories: architecture, market viability, engineering, lighting design, communications, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment and net metering. The home is also a "smart home," with an iPhone application designed by SCU engineering students that allows home systems to be turned on or off to save even more energy.
"The beauty of California comes through in this design and its use of windows," said Santa Clara University student and Refract House project manager Allison Kopf. "The bent design takes maximum advantage of south-facing vistas, making it seem larger. The patio area is incorporated visually into the house space."
The Solar Decathlon's purpose is to showcase the best in home design and demonstrate that it is possible to live a comfortable, modern lifestyle, while using less energy. The competition promotes an integrated, whole-building design approach to building construction where the design considers the interactions of all building components and systems to create a more comfortable building, save energy, and reduce environmental impact.
Visit Team California's Refract House entry at www.refracthouse.com
. For more information on the Solar Decathlon competition, visit www.solardecathlon.org