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Solar Decathlon: The Envelope, Please…

While the 2009 Solar Decathlon officially wrapped up yesterday, the winners of the solar-powered home design competition were announced Friday morning. While sixteen of the twenty student teams hailed from the US, an international competitor took the gold: Team Germany received the highest number of points, and scored a repeat of its ’07 win.

In the finalists announcement, the Solar Decathlon praised the German entry for “producing surplus energy by using the maximum overall building dimensions allowed, applying photovoltaics to every available surface, and pushing the envelope with new technologies.” The runners-up were the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Team California (Santa Clara University and California College of the Arts). And the People’s Choice award went to Team BeauSoleil from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for its design that focused on hurricane resistance and a strong integration of Cajun culture into the design.

If you’d like to get a closer look at each team’s concept, the official Solar Decathlon site features video virtual tours for all entries — they’ve also got a YouTube channel. Regardless of point totals, there were many winning ideas this year…

Did you attend the Solar Decathlon? What did you think? Let us know below…