This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 13, 2011

Team Florida Takes "Sunshine State" Moniker Seriously

It only seems natural that the Sunshine State would combine the power of colleges from across the state to bring its solar-powered, energy efficient home to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 on the National Mall this fall. Unlike most teams in the competition—which are comprised of participants from one or less often two or three schools—Team Florida is made up of researchers from four Sunshine State universities: the University of South Florida, the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of Central Florida. The team was conceived in the belief that the building industry cannot function effectively without close collaboration between groups of professionals representing different fields of expertise. With this in mind, Team Florida says they are utilizing the brainpower of eight different departments of the respective schools, and all of this collaborative expertise is giving Team Florida a unique perspective on their design.

Each of the 20 teams' entries in the competition often address unique challenges related to regional climate or places that might not receive much sun. Team Florida's FLeX House, on the other hand, was designed specifically for hot, humid climates and sunny places like those comparable to central Florida. But that doesn't make its job any easier. See the Energy Blog post.