The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a biennial program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. This year, all of the model homes are required to include a residential fire sprinkler system per the 2009 International Residential Code. As a result, the Decathlon is a perfect platform to showcase the life and property saving value of sprinklers while providing community leaders and law makers the opportunity to discuss the details involved in building with them - especially in homes of the future that foster environmental sustainability. According to a recent article in the Journal of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, common feedback about sprinkler systems from team members involved in the building of the model homes include its ease of installation, availability of resources for installation and relative low cost of the completed system installation.
The 2011 Solar Decathlon will take place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23–Oct. 2. Open to the public free of charge, visitors can tour the houses to collect ideas for their own homes, and learn abot building with sprinklers.
Encourage your local Congressman or elected official to attend the Decathlon this year, and provide them with the facts about residential sprinkler systems to pass legislation in your state.