Ecobuildingpulse.com produced the above video of an interview with Team Las Vegas project manager Alexia Chen.

Team UNLV’s DesertSol House garnered top honors in the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon’s Market Appeal contest, one of the five juried sub-competitions within the Decathlon. DesertSol, which placed second overall, features a split plan that joins public and private zones with an entry foyer facing south. Perforated screens shield the southern façade from direct sun, while a tripartite insulation system mitigates heat gain behind pre-weathered cladding.

 

For the Market Appeal contest, teams were asked to select a target client, and jurors evaluated the houses based on these target clients. Team UNLV, comprised of students from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, had elected to market DesertSol as a second home for vacations or retirement living for middle- to upper-income clients. Market Appeal juror Susan Aiello, founder of Interior Design Solutions, praised DesertSol’s design in a Solar Decathlon blog post: “Of all the houses we saw, we thought that DesertSol best met the needs and desires of its target market,” Aiello said. “I’d buy it!”

Market Appeal Contest Results

Rank | Team | Points awarded
1. Las Vegas   94.0
2. Team Austria   93.0
Tie 3. Czech Republic   92.0
Tie 3. Stanford   92.0

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

Team UNLV project manager Alexia Chen describes her team’s success in the Market Appeal category as stemming from the general credibility of the DesertSol House, citing several visitors who were ready to purchase the home as-is based on the team’s efforts toward livability, buildability, and marketability. Such eager visitors will have to settle for visiting DesertSol at its post-Decathlon site located within the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, where the house will serve to educate the public about sustainable living.

UNLV's DesertSol House is split into two units joined by an entry foyer (left) with a perforated screen (right) along the south-facing wall to shade an exterior walkway.

UNLV's DesertSol House is split into two units joined by an entry foyer (left) with a perforated screen (right) along the south-facing wall to shade an exterior walkway.

Credit: Courtesy Deane Madsen

The Market Appeal contest win, combined with ties for best score in the measured competitions of Hot Water and Energy Balance as well as a second place score in the Communications contest (behind Solar Decathlon winner Team Austria) helped propel Team UNLV to second place overall in the 2013 U.S. Solar Decathlon.

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