The Catholic University of America

Aug. 27, 2013

D.C. College Students Kick Off Cross-Country Journey of Sustainable Home for U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Team Capitol DC unveils zero-energy-output home that will help heal wounded U.S. military veterans.

  > Visit Team Capitol DC’s video channel

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Students from three District of Columbia universities revealed their energy-efficient home of the future today as they prepare to kick off a cross-country journey to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The team of more than 100 students has been working for more than a year on a net-zero-energy home uniquely designed for the recuperation of a wounded U.S. military service member returning from a combat zone.

The innovative solar home will be donated to Wounded Warrior Homes, a nonprofit organization that assists in the recuperation of returning military veterans, after the conclusion of Solar Decathlon 2013, an international sustainable home competition that takes place Oct. 3-13 in Irvine, Calif.

After today’s public unveiling on the campus of The Catholic University of America (CUA), the home will be taken apart, loaded onto trucks for a week-long cross-country journey, and then re-assembled to compete in the elite collegiate sustainable home competition.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to receive this residence for our wounded warriors,” said Mia Roseberry, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Wounded Warrior Homes. “The home is an ideal addition to our transitional housing program because it is custom-designed to meet the needs of returning troops who may be physically injured or struggling as a result of their recent military experience.”

As one of only 20 collegiate teams selected to compete in Solar Decathlon 2013, Team Capitol DC, which comprises students and faculty mentors from The Catholic University of America (CUA), the George Washington University (GW) and American University (AU), chose to create a home that not only leads the way in sustainable practices, but continues to give back to the community by helping wounded U.S. veterans who have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“When we first began designing our home, we knew we wanted our house to serve a purpose long after the competition,” said student team member spokesperson Claire Ainsworth. “By creating a home concept that both effectively helps the environment and helps those who have served our country, we believe we have designed a practical and responsible home that we are excited to donate to Wounded Warrior Homes.”

HARVEST HOME, the team’s net-zero energy house, is designed to harvest abundant natural resources to generate energy while helping heal the environment through use of sustainable materials and resource collection and recycling systems. The home also incorporates several biomedical activity monitoring devices that will not only allow future residents to conserve energy, but also track personal habits. By collecting personal data, HARVEST HOME will also help its future residents – wounded U.S. military veterans –recuperate from both mental and physical trauma.

Launched in 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition that challenges collegiate teams from around the world to design and build sustainable, energy-efficient housing.

To learn more about Team Capitol DC’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon home, visit To learn more about the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, please visit


For the first time, a city-wide Washington, D.C., collegiate team – The Catholic University of America (CUA), the George Washington University (GW) and American University (AU) – will compete as Team Capitol DC in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013.

Twitter: @TeamCapitolDC

Team Capitol DC’s sponsors at the $10K+ level include: U.S. Department of Energy; Arup; Alpha Steel Lab, Inc.;Clark Construction; Held Enloe and Associates LLC; Siemens Foundation; MONA Electric Group, Inc.; Standard Solar; Crane Service Company; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Western Window Systems; Everyday Green; Prospect Waterproofing Company; Dominion Mechanical; Schneider Electric. For a full list of sponsors, please visit www.TeamCapitolDC/sponsors.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition has since occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 will take place Oct. 3–13, 2013, at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.

Wounded Warrior Homes is a 501(c)3, charitable nonprofit organization that serves single post 9/11 combat veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). Its mission is to provide affordable transitional housing, hands-on resources, and a defined path for each member to transition from active-duty military service to independent living as a veteran of foreign wars.



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