B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

October 2011

2011 Solar Decathlon
Maryland University’s “WaterShed”

Our in-house design guru, Sally Dominguez writes, “Even before we started making HOGS in the USA, we had our first Solar Decathlon customers when Cornell University bought HOGs for their 2007 Decathlon entry. Teams apply to the US Department of Energy with their proposals for a zero energy house. Grants are given to the top 19 entries to enable their teams to realize the designs in Washington DC. It’s a terrific initiative to demonstrate new and proven sustainable energy and water management strategies. This year’s winner, Maryland University’s “WaterShed” is near to our hearts for its comprehensive water collection and reuse strategies. See the engineering behind the “WaterShed” here.


©Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat
Maryland University’s “WaterShed” wins the 2011 Solar Decathlon.

Why is it beautiful? “Inspired by the rich, complex ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” the architecture distills its parts into an elegantly simple language. It’s a house that delivers beautiful design with its impressive sustainability achievements.

Why is it useful? The use of vegetation to filter wastewater is terrific but nothing beats the soon-to-be-patented “liquid desiccant waterfalls for humidity control” – a brilliant piece of biomimicry.

Why is it green?
Well, it’s covered with lush vegetation for a start!  The vegetation not only collects and filters the rainwater but provides thermal mass to regulate the temperatures inside the house.

Check out Sally’s blog for more BUG Designs.

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