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Solar Decathlon wins the Mall

Article Published: Mar. 3, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Solar Decathlon wins the Mall

ASU Solar Decathlon organizer David Lee is happy to report his group's entry has found a place on the National Mall. File photo

Appalachian State University's Solar Decathlon has declared victory.

At least this week.

Earlier this year, officials at the National Mall notified the decathletes that the project, in which students design and build sustainable structures, could no longer take place at the lawn, prompting an aggressive e-mail campaign by people like local organizer Dave Lee.

"They told us Parks revoked its permission because of damages done to the mall during the Decathlon," Lee said.

But the Decathlon comes before an already planned $18 million mall restoration plan, he said, which will include grass repairs. "And, in the Solar Decathlon contract, each team is liable for damage," he said.

And it's good to be back.

"The team is experiencing a mix of relief and excitement," Lee said. "The uncertainty of not knowing where we would have the competition, and the speculation about the many locations that it might have been held, was a distraction and a drain from the real team goals of designing and building the Solar Homestead. It feels as if a fog has lifted, and we have a clear, worthwhile goal."

ASU was the only North Carolina team to be selected for the competition. The Solar Decathlon happens in late September.

For updates on ASU's project, called the Solar Homestead, check out

The competition happens in fall of 2011.

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