I guess we need to take our collective noses out of the books for a bit and pay attention. It's been several days of non-stop, cold, blowing rain and we're all bouncing off the walls a bit. But a break in the downpour yesterday gave us an chance to seize the day and attend one of my all time favorite happenings in Washington, DC -- The Solar Decathlon.
(taking recycling to the next level at the Cornell University "Silo House")
(Team Germany goes ultra-mod and ultra-powerful with a house clad entirely in photovoltaic tiles - they won the competition)
(The wide array of architectural styles is part of what makes walking the Solar Village so much fun. Iowa State kept their house in line with the rural vernacular of their university home town.)
(Fun meets functional at the University of Kentucky. Here you see modern art.)
(passive meets active solar at a stylish crossroad)
(the louvered shades above are actually photovoltaic cells, so they produce electricity while they let in or block out the direct sunlight)I can't do this competition justice here, but I encourage you to check out the web site and visit the Solar Village virtually. And if you find yourself in DC in 2 years, make a point to stop by. It's free!
(almost all of the teams design and build their own furniture, from the light fixtures to the patio loungers)
(This is one of the sliding exterior walls on the Virginia Tech house. 1400 pieces all at a precise angle determined by some algorithmic formula to let in light and shine it back out again at night. But mathematic genius aside, it just looks fabulous. )Zach liked the Virginia Tech house best "because it had a pond" - actually a grey water recycling system.
But after 4 days cooped up with cold rain, I think the boy was just happy to be out and about.