Construction underway for fifth Solar Decathlon

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The Independent Online

A number of college teams in the US are working hard in Washington DC to put the final touches on the energy-efficient solar-powered houses they are entering in this year's Solar Decathlon.

Supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Solar Decathlon, now in its fifth year, challenges collegiate teams to design and build solar-powered, cost-effective and energy-efficient houses.

The final winner is, according to the organizers, the team that best combines "affordability, consumer appeal, design excellence, optimal energy production and maximum efficiency."

Since the biennial event began in 2002, 92 teams from around the globe have taken part and in 2009 alone over 307,000 members of the public visited the event over a ten-day period.  

Currently teams are busy adding the final touches to their entries for this year's event, which takes place at West Potomac Park in Washington DC from September 23-October 2.  Photographs of the teams' progress are uploaded daily and are available to view online via the Solar Decathlon website.  

Free for members of the public to visit, the Solar Decathlon aims to demonstrate to members of the public the opportunities offered by affordable, energy-efficient, solar-powered houses.

The latest home-based renewable energy technologies and green building techniques will also be displayed and discussed later in the year at the Green Build International Conference and Expo, held from October 4-7 in Toronto.

The Green Build International Conference is one of the world's largest expos dedicated to the Green Building Trade and this year marks the first time the event has been held outside of the United States.

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