A "Green Decathlon" could be a crown jewel for the Ecodistrict. Like DOE's Solar Decathlon (which is being moved this fall to a site adjacent to the FDR Memorial) the contest would harness huge amounts of free talent and energy from universities around the world in a competition to design and build the "best" green housing units. "Best" would be defined by the contest sponsors (DOE? HUD? Modular, or Manufactured Housing Associations, etc.) and might include things like life-cycle costs, pollution minimization, etc. Possible sites would include a decked Maryland Ave, taking over either the north or southbound lanes of 10th St. for a few weeks, or, if it would support the weight, the roof of the DOE Cafeteria.
DOE has staged four very successful Decathlons and there will be a fifth this Fall. All have been for single family homes using solar energy. With the changes in the housing market and the economy in general, DOE may wish to evolve their contest in 2013 to address all forms of green energy and less expensive multi-family and manufactured housing. Or since the Obama Administration has made a policy decision to make more use of contests to encourage the development of new technologies perhaps HUD would be interested in becoming the lead, or a co-sponsor.
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