The Contractor Magazine reported that the 2011 Solar Decathlon produced a number of practical ideas for creating sustainable homes, ranging from the installation of radiant heating to using LED lighting.
Students from around the country provided practical solutions to problems that present homeowners with high energy bills. They demonstrated their expertise within the area of green technology and sustainability as they put their ideas into practice while building the structures.
"I am impressed with the students’ expertise on all aspects of green building — water efficiency, indoor air quality, materials, local sourcing and waste minimization — in addition to the energy efficiency focus of the contest," Rob Zimmerman, manager-engineering, sustainability and water conservation for Kohler, told the magazine.
The Rutgers University team constructed a concrete house that used radiant floor heating to provide warmth to the residence, along with using limited furnishing to provide a modern aesthetic look, Contractor Magazine reported.
A radiant heating system can provide a house with a green source of warmth without ruining the aesthetics of the residence. Unlike other technologies, the system can be installed as the subfloor under any surface, and doesn't require radiators or air ducts.