The entry by Team New Jersey in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 is the first in the history of the competition to use precast concrete panels. Called the ENJOY House, the design uses precast concrete insulated panels to construct the 960-square foot home. All roof, wall, and floor assemblies include concrete panels that use varied casting processes. An inverted‐hip roof is calibrated for optimal solar energy and rainwater collection, contributing to an architecture informed by performance criteria.
The orientation and the shape of the roof are designed so the 39 solar panels can collect the most energy. The highly insulated building envelope and passive solar strategies significantly reduce heating and cooling loads. The precast concrete home requires little upkeep compared with traditional stick‐frame materials, important as students designed the home for a retiring couple on the New Jersey shore. A picture of the structure is seen below.
The Team New Jersey entry was designed by students from Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The house will compete against entries from five countries across four continents, including the United States, Belgium, Canada, China, and New Zealand. The decathlon takes place September 23-October 3, and includes 10 contests that gauge each house’s performance, livability, and affordability.
The teams will have to perform everyday tasks, including cooking, laundry, and washing dishes, to test the energy efficiency of their houses. The winner of the overall competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The houses are on display on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, DC.