UNLV’s DesertSol House Wins ‘Best Market Appeal’ In Solar Decathlon

The 2013 Solar Decathlon will come to an end this weekend, with one lucky team of student designers taking home the prize for best design. There are many different categories in which to place, however, and it was recently announced that the University of Nevada Las Vegas earned first prize for designing the solar-powered house with the greatest ‘Market Appeal.’

Called “DesertSol” the UNLV house was designed to take full advantage of the Mojave Desert’s renewable resources to produce a sustainable home that is self-reliant in the severe desert climate. Intended for the second-home market in the U.S. Southwest, DesertSol scored 94 out of 100 possible points.

UNLV DesertSol

Image via UNLV DesertSol Team

“The Market Appeal Contest evaluates the livability, marketability and constructability of each house and its appeal within the housing market of the target client chosen by each team,” explains a Solar Decathlon press release. “The Market Appeal Jury, composed of professionals from the sustainable housing industry, evaluated the responsiveness of the house designs to the characteristics and requirements of these target clients.”

After all, futuristic designs are great, but they can only make a difference if people actually want to build and buy them.

Team Austria from Vienna University of Technology placed second in Market Appeal, scoring 93 points with a house that is designed as a sustainable cottage for urban areas as well as mountain and lakeside retreats. Stanford University and Czech Technical University from the Czech Republic tied for third in Market Appeal, each scoring 92 points in the contest.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog