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'WaterShed' Team Takes Expertise Around the World

February 27, 2013

Maggie Haslam 202-258-8946

Nearly two years after their first place win at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, several collaborators on UMD's solar-powered home, WaterShed, are lending their talent and expertise to competitive forums around the world

Brittany WilliamsCOLLEGE PARK, Md. - Brittany Williams M.Arch '07, a lecturer in the University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and faculty advisor for UMD's WaterShed team, which built the award-winning solar-powered home, has been selected as Competition Manager for the inaugural year of the Solar Decathlon China 2013. SD China challenges collegiate teams from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. Williams has extensive experience with sustainable design, not only on UMD's WaterShed team, but also as an architecture team leader for WaterShed's predecessor, LEAFHouse, which placed second in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007.

"I am both honored and excited to be a part of Solar Decathlon China," said Williams. "I hope that my participation as competition manager will help further the creative collaboration between the U.S. and China as they work towards creating a more sustainable future."

Amy GardnerIn addition, associate professor and principal investigator for both LEAFHouse and WaterShed Amy Gardner will travel to Oman in March with WaterShed student team leaders David Gavin M.Arch '12 and David Daily M.S. '14 to lead a pre-competition workshop for the Eco House Design Competition (EHDC). A Solar Decathlon "sister" competition, the EHDC challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate eco-friendly houses, combining consumer appeal and optimal energy efficiency into an attractive, thoughtfully designed package. Gardner, Gavin and Daily will share the principles of UMD's approach to the Solar Decathlon, from building relationships with sponsors, professionals and suppliers to construction management and competition strategy.

"We are very excited to share our experiences and to learn from our fellow competitors who live and practice in a different corner of the world," said Gardner. "Reaching across the boundaries of building culture and learning from each subsequent generation's design successes are essential to building a more sustainable future."

About WaterShed
WaterShed is a solar-powered home inspired and guided by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, interconnecting the house with its landscape, and leading its dwellers toward a more sustainable lifestyle. It is currently being readied for its permanent location at Pepco's Rockville, Md., facility.

Since its first place win in 2011, WaterShed has collected a number of accolades and awards for sustainable and inspirational design, including a Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), DC chapter, a Maryland AIA Design Award, and a Chesapeake Bay AIA Design Award. WaterShed continues to serve as an example of innovative, sustainable design in articles and publications all over the world.

WaterShed Team