UNLV earns second-place for architecture in international Solar Decathlon

October 10, 2017 the University of Nevada Las Vegas team presents their “Sinatra Living” house, designed with the elderly and empty nesters in mind at 61st and Pena Station, Denver, Colorado. Exterior: (Dennis Schroeder/US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Students at UNLV took home a second-place prize in an international Solar Decathlon. The challenge: create a building that integrates solar and energy efficiency technologies seamlessly in the design.

The team built a home called the Sinatra House, whey they say is dedicated to aging in place for baby boomers.

UNLV is one of 12 university teams worldwide to take part in this year's competition.

The UNLV-designed building tied with Washington University in St. Louis for second place in the architecture competition, in which homes are judged by how seamlessly the home integrates solar and energy efficiency technologies in the design. The Swiss team took first prize in that category.

Unfortunately, UNLV did not fare quite as well in other categories. The Las Vegas university took tenth place in the water use and reuse contest, tenth place in health and comfort contest, and tenth place in home life contest.

The decathlon also included an ‘appliances’ contest, which measured a home’s ability to operate appliances at the same level as an average U.S. home. UNLV came in at the middle of the pack, taking 6th place in that competition.

So far, the UNLV team is in 7th place overall, just behind the UC Berkely/UC Denver team. The contest ends on October 15.

To view all the scores, visit the official Solar Decathlon website.

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