Solar Decathlon 2013
Construction at the Solar Decathlon village
The Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon kicks off today in Irvine, Calif. The intensive competition pits teams of college students against one another to design and build solar-powered houses that are energy efficient, affordable and attractive enough that people will actually want to live in them.
Over the next 10 days, the teams’ homes will be judged from a list of stringent criteria while the members live inside, demonstrating their designs’ real-world capabilities: everything from performing common household tasks like laundry to hosting dinner parties and a movie night for their neighbors.
Check out some of this year’s most innovative entries:
Construction at the Solar Decathlon village
Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico took inspiration from the desert for their house, SHADE, which features screens designed to mimic the cooling function of saguaro cactus needles and rainwater collection tanks.
Team Alberta: University of Calgary's Borealis house is an updated version of a mobile home, designed for workers in remote resource industries.
Czech Technical University designed the almost entirely wooden AIR house with the needs of empty-nesters in mind.
Team Capitol DC, consisting of The Catholic University of America, George Washington University and American University, built HARVEST HOME for returning army veterans. Made of reclaimed and recycled materials, it includes biomedical systems and other features to help ease their transition back into civilian life.
The HARVEST HOME was finished a little before noon today. Waiting on our last two inspections! pic.twitter.com/dV0SYehn5L— TeamCapitolDC (@TeamCapitolDC) October 1, 2013
Phoenix House, from the University of Louisville, Ball State University and the University of Kentucky is self-sustaining and quickly assembled, and is intended for use as permanent disaster relief housing.
There's grass growing on the roof of Middlebury College's InSite house, while its solar panels cover a shaded walking path.
Missouri University of Science and Technology's Chameleon House adapts to its environment and the needs of its occupants.
The Delta T-90 house from Norwich University is built to stand up to northern Vermont's cold, snowy days and lower energy costs for low to medium income families.
ECHO, from Team Ontario (Queen's University, Carleton University and Algonquin College) manages to create more energy than it uses.
The two separate modules that make up DALE, from Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology, can be split apart via a rail system for instant outdoor living space.
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.
Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.
A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.
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Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya
On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later
Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.
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The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes
Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day
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