Columbia Forest Products has been involved with the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon program almost from its beginning 2002 by coming onboard in 2005 by donating wood products (hardwood plywood panels) of various types dependant on the project specifications. If you are not familiar with the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon program, it 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…in other words, that design team’s version of the perfect, eco-friendly home! And the winner of the competition is selected as the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
Columbia supports the Solar Decathlon for many reasons, such as:
- The program educates students and the public about the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits presented by clean-energy products and design solutions
- The homes demonstrate to the public the comfort and affordability of housing that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems available today
- Offers participating students with unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean-energy workforce.
The inaugural Solar Decathlon was held in 2002 but the competition now occurs biennially, build homes in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. The next event will take place Oct. 3–13, 2013, at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.
Columbia’s frist Solar Decathlon home in 2002 by the University of Texas-Austin, TX utilized our EcoColors products (now discontinued) was provided courtesy of one of our wholesale distributors, Dixie Plywood and Lumber Company, out of San Antonio, TX.
EcoColors provided a natural birch veneer core for the office credenza, cabinetry, built-ins and ceiling which added to the
overall modern, green and clean feel of the of the home. However, because this project took place in 2005, our formaldehyde-free PureBond was not yet available but stock was FSC®-certified.