Kohler supports 2011 Solar Decathlon competition teams

In a quest to create the ultimate ‘green’ house, 20 collegiate teams compete in Washington D.C. Mall.

September 29, 2011 |









Kohler Co. has partnered with several collegiate teams competing in the fifth Solar Decathlon, September 23 – October 2 at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., by providing these teams with water-efficient Kohler and Sterling plumbing products.

College students from across the globe representing 20 universities have gathered to develop the most solar energy-efficient house in the competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Solar Decathlon shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today. The Solar Decathlon also provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation's clean energy workforce.

“I am impressed with the students’ expertise on all aspects of green building – water efficiency, indoor air quality, materials, local sourcing and waste minimization – in addition to the energy efficiency focus of the contest,” said Rob Zimmerman, manager-engineering, sustainability and water conservation for Kohler. 

Among the collegiate teams competing for the Solar Decathlon, which specified water-efficient plumbing products from Kohler is Purdue University, Zimmerman’s alma mater. “It’s encouraging that our young engineers, architects, and skilled trades are being educated this way, as they will be designing and constructing the homes, offices, and other buildings we’ll need in the coming years.”

The competing teams selected products designed to be water efficient and perform to expectations, including EPA WaterSense-listed toilets (Dual Flush and 1.28-gallon), showerheads and bathroom faucets, as well as commercial plumbing products including touchless faucets with the company’s award-winning Hybrid Energy System.

Kohler provided fixtures and faucets to Purdue and a handful of other teams such as Team Florida (University of Florida, South Florida, Central Florida and Florida State); Team Massachusetts (Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell); The Ohio State University; University of Illinois; Middlebury College; and Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology.  Kohler has been involved in the biennial Solar Decathlon since its inception in 2002.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 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 2011 Solar Decathlon is open free to the public September 23 through October 2, (10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on weekdays, 10 am-5:30 pm on weekends). BD+C

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