Middlebury College’s ‘Self Reliance’ grabs 4th place in Solar Decathlon 2011

Team Middlebury’s Self Reliance placed fourth overall and won the competition’s final category, Market Appeal, which focused on the marketability, affordability, and buildability of the house. Middlebury also placed first in Communications and Home Entertainment earlier in the competition. Final scores by category, team, contest, and date can be found here.

The final awards ceremony today started with the team in sixth place. President Liebowitz and a few Middlebury faculty and staff made the trip down to Washington D.C. for the final ceremony.

On Friday, the Middlebury College team placed first in the Communications category — a huge win in an important category. Judges had this to say about the team’s communications victory:

Middlebury College, this year’s winner of the Communications Contest, is a very authentic team that conveyed the best of New England architecture. This team’s holistic approach to communications was refreshing; they achieved in all aspects of communications—not just in one area…

United States Secretary of Energy Steven Chu got a personal tour of the house on Friday.

The team earlier had placed first only in the Home Entertainment category, while ranking relatively high in Architecture, Affordability, Energy Balance, Hot Water, and Appliances. The team ran into troubles in the Comfort Zone category because of a broken heat pump that helped regulate temperature and humidity in the house. The team eventually placed seventh in that category. Self Reliance ranked 11th in engineering sparking this tweet with the classic underdog tone that has followed the team through the competition:

For those who didn’t get a chance to tour the house, it will return to the Middlebury campus to be student housing. It will be located on Porter Field road near the CFA. A walkthru video tour:

(Photo credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, Middlebury Solar Decathlon blog)


9 thoughts on “Middlebury College’s ‘Self Reliance’ grabs 4th place in Solar Decathlon 2011

  1. http://www.solardecathlon.gov/blog/archives/1906

    “Self-Reliance left the jury very impressed, eclipsing our expectations across the board in livability and marketability,” said Brad Beeson, Market Appeal juror. “Middlebury College defined its market carefully—a young family of four with a modest income for the region—and demonstrated the fit for that target market with a very compelling video.”

    VERY impressive Middkids!!!! Congrats to all!

  2. Placing so well in a competition against nation states and major corporations is a true achievement for the Middlebury team. They’ve successfully shown that sustainable energy and living is an achievable goal, which is the real win from this contest.

  3. Just wondering what the cost to construct this house might be, how much the energy bills are, and how it’s powered…

  4. Hi Mary,

    The Department of Energy cost estimate came in at around $282,000. Our internal cost estimate put us around $250,000. Also keep in mind that the house had to be designed to transport to Washington, so it would cost less to build the house in one piece. The house is powered by 30 Photovoltaic Panels and 2 Solar Thermal Panels. These produce all the energy requirements of the house throughout the course of a year.

    Also to Midd-Blog, I recommend showing off the Midd SD Architecture Video, as this particular video was produced by a Midd Grad, Ian Durkin.

  5. Middlebury To Compete in 2013 Solar Decathlon | MiddBlog

  6. Middlebury Chosen for 2013 Solar Decathlon | MiddBlog

Comments are closed.