On Oct. 3, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, which awards collegiate teams for designing, building and operating the most cost-effective, energy-efficient and functional solar-powered homes. The University of Maryland’s WaterShed house, which features an Uponor PEX plumbing system, came out on top with a total of 951.151 points out of 1,000.
Two other Solar Decathlon homes also featured Uponor: sixth-place Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) team, and ninth-place Team Massachusetts, which included Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Both homes featured Uponor for the plumbing and the fire suppression systems.
Dick Rhodes, sales manager at Taze & Hewitt, helped coordinate the plumbing product donation from Uponor for the University of Maryland WaterShed house.
“To be part of a great effort to increase the awareness of solar energy is very important to us,” says Rhodes. “I was very impressed by the students’ involvement in the design and construction of the project. They all took great pride in their work and that’s great to see.”
Uponor manufacturer representative Urell, Inc. and distributor The Granite Group helped to coordinate the Uponor donation for the University of Massachusetts house. The California team received their product directly from Uponor.
“It was nice to see so many other manufacturers, distributors and contractors in our area who donated their time and materials,” says Rhodes. “Ferguson was a great contributor, and a local plumbing and heating contractor, Fred Werth of Kensington Plumbing and Heating, volunteered a lot of his personal time to assisting the Maryland team as well.”