The 'Greak Park' in Irvine played host to the U.S. Solar Decathlon on Oct 12-13. The 2-day event, which was open to applicants from around the world, was held for the first time outside Washington D.C., and attracted 19 teams of University student and faculty, from as faraway as the Czeck Republic and as near as USC and Caltec. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the competition is held every two years, when competing teams design and build their own houses which includes the usual comforts of a home.
On Saturday Oct 12 "Team Austria from the Vienna University of Technology were declared the winners and awarded
a trophy. No money is given to the winning team, just prestige and the right to include it on their resumes. The winning house featured sliding elements in an airy wooden house that travelled from Vienna, in several shipping containers, then trucked to the Great Park in Irvine and reassembled on the runway.
Second place went to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with third place going to the Czeck Technical University, from the Czeck Republic.
Due to the U.S. Government shutdown no one from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy attended the event. The assistant Secretary, David Danelson appeared in a broadcast video with a message for the students, and Irvine Mayor Stephen Choi celebrated with Team Austria after their win.