produced the above interview with Team Ontario project manager, Chris Baldwin.

Designed by students from three schools—Algonquin College, Carleton University, and Queen's University—Team Ontario’s ECHO (for Ecological Home) took top honors in the Engineering contest of the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The Engineering contest examines the houses' projected energy savings as well as the reliability and functionality of the innovative systems they employ. ECHO employed vacuum-insulated wall panels to help withstand Canada’s harsh climate, and a single mechanical system that benefits from a solar-assisted heat pump (SAHP) to heat, cool, and dehumidify the interiors as well as provide the home's hot water.

Exterior rendering.
Courtesy Team Ontario Exterior rendering.

Engineering Contest Results

Rank | Team | Points awarded
1. Team Ontario   95.0
2. Czech Republic   94.0
Tie 3. Team Austria   93.0
Tie 3. North Carolina   93.0
Tie 3. Las Vegas   93.0

See all of the entries to the 2013 Solar Decathlon in ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.

On the official  Solar Decathlon blog, engineering judge Kent Peterson, chief engineer and vice president of P2S Engineering, lauded Team Ontario for its integration of both active and passive strategies to maintain thermal comfort. According to officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, this was the first year that all of the houses were net-positive, meaning that they all produced more energy than they consumed.

Visit Ecobuildingpulse's landing page for all things 2013 Solar Decathlon.