WATERSHED - US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011

University of Maryland

WaterShed is the University of Maryland's entry into the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011.  The university's entry won Solar Decathlon 2011 and placed in the top three in 8 out of 10 contests including first place in architecture.  Inspired by the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the largest estuary in the United States, the ideas of WaterShed were focused on creating a micro ecosystem with integrated systems, and designing a home that not only conserves, but also produces resources.  Over the course of two years, the interdisciplinary team of students, guided by the faculty adviser team, worked with industry professionals and trades people to gain an understanding of the integration of sustainable technologies and time tested construction methods and techniques.  

Britt served as one of the faculty co-advisers for the University of Maryland’s 1st place entry in the competition.  Her main focus areas were architecture and communications.   In conjunction with the university's Solar Decathlon efforts, she also co-taught several courses in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation focusing on the design and development of WaterShed including three consecutive graduate level studios and a upper level seminar. 

The three graduate level studios focused on the design, detailing and construction of the house.  As part of a larger team, the group of graduate architecture students shepherded the team's overall mission to create a micro ecosystem on the site.  Through the interdisciplinary seminar, a group of graduate and undergraduate students focused on the development and implementation of public outreach and communication strategies to reflect the larger mission of the team.  Through the development of a website, on-site signage and tour guide materials, the course strove to distill the core principles of the house into materials accessible to both the professional and the layperson.