U.S. Department of Energy Student Contest Focuses on Energy Efficiency

IRVING, Texas – – The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) has renewed its commitment for financial and technical support for the 2020 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon – Design Challenge.  PPI is the major North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry.  This is PPI’s sixth year supporting this DOE program, formerly known as Race to Zero.

The 2020 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge will take place at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado on April 17-19, 2020.  Lance MacNevin, P.Eng, director of engineering for PPI’s Building & Construction, will return as a juror.

According to MacNevin, “Buildings in the United States represent 40 percent of our country’s total energy consumption and 70 percent of our electricity use, so there are many opportunities to utilize existing technologies in smart ways to reduce energy costs.  At these events, we see future architects and engineers collaborate and compete to design houses and buildings that are so energy efficient that their annual energy use can be offset with renewable energy.”

 

DOE’s website states, “Qualifying teams complete a design project and attend the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Weekend, where they present their designs to a panel of industry expert jurors, compare their projects to those of other teams, learn from presentations by thought leaders and collegiate peers, and engage with a variety of organizations about energy careers. Winning teams are recognized at an Awards Banquet, and winning project presentations are published on the website.” https://www.solardecathlon.gov/event/challenges-design.html

PPI President David Fink said, “PPI encourages design teams to incorporate innovative plumbing and mechanical systems to improve the health, safety and welfare of building occupants and the efficiency of buildings. This includes technologies such as hydronic radiant heating and cooling, ground source geothermal, hot- and cold-water plumbing using plastic piping solutions, and fire protection for occupant safety. These systems can benefit the entries in practically all categories of judging, including energy performance, engineering, architecture, market appeal, financial affordability, operation, comfort & environmental quality, and innovation.”

Added MacNevin, “It’s always so exciting to see the creative designs and technological ideas of the student teams from around the world. We can’t wait to see what they’ll present at the 2020 event!”

PPI has developed resources to help students design their projects available at https://plasticpipe.org/building-construction/bcd-2020-solar-decathlon.html

For additional information, also visit the Plastics Pipe Institute’s website at:  www.plasticpipe.org.

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