Team Maryland Holds Lead During Opening Weekend

Photo of WaterShed as leader in points on the third day of the competition, as seen by the Leader flag,

Maryland leads the collegiate teams in points on the third day of the competition, as seen by the Leader flag, right, at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
Photo Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Despite continuously cloudy skies, the big crowds, high scores and an endorsement from Congressman Roscoe Bartlett are keeping the WaterShed teams spirits high as they finish out the opening weekend of the Solar Decathlon on top. As of Monday morning, Maryland was leading the pack in scores and standings, edging out Purdue, Team China and Parsons School of Design.

Not that any of the team members have a minute to check their placement; the house has had a heavy foot traffic since the doors opened Friday morning, thanks in part to a deluge of media coverage, including the Washington Post, Washington Examiner and the local ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV (click here to see WaterShed in the news).

“Finally being here on the competition site and seeing all of the positive reactions we are receiving from WaterShed is amazing,” said Dave Gavin, a graduate architecture student. “It makes all of the sleepless nights and countless hours spent designing truly worth it to realize all that we have accomplished over the past two years and I could not be more proud of the WaterShed team.”

Before the doors opened to the public on Friday, WaterShed team members provided a special tour Thursday afternoon to University President Wallace Loh, Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-3) and Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6) as part of a Decathlon VIP event. Rep. Bartlett, who serves as a co-chairman of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE), gave a powerful endorsement of WaterShed, saying “The University of Maryland has once again set the bar high for all other competitors (to read the press release from Rep Bartlett’s office, click here).”

With a week’s worth of competitions ahead, Team Maryland concentrates on execution, keeping its eye on the finish line. .”We have a long way to go, but I’m proud of how far we’ve come,” says Amy Gardner.

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