The University of Maryland 2011 Solar Decathlon team was able to produce a first-place house for the competition, as the students utilized solar panels and a radiant heating system to beat out the other participants, according to PV Magazine.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the winners, and noted his pleasure with the participants due to their use of innovative technologies to limit the carbon footprint of a residence, reported the magazine.
"In past times of national stress, we took the long view and invested in our future," Chu said in a statement. "We need to take the long view and invest in the future. That's what made America great, and that's how we will prevail."
The winning home featured the radiant heating system that received heat from solar panels on the top of the residence and a rainwater runoff system to recycle as much water as possible, according to PV Magazine.
A radiant heating system can also help to improve the air quality of a home, as the technology doesn't require radiators, heating ducts or air vents.