Team Canada Returns to DOE's Solar Decathlon with First Nation Values in Mind

June 8, 2011

Team Canada in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 is a group that is making its second go at the competition after placing an impressive 6th out of 20 in the 2009 Solar Decathlon. Team members from the University of Calgary's Faculty of Environmental Design, the Schulich School of Engineering, and the Haskayne School of Business, say their competitive edge emerges from an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to design.

Team Canada's house, known as TRTL (Technological Residence that respects Traditional Living), addresses critical housing issues in Alberta's aboriginal communities. The TRTL design includes specific consideration for the context of Alberta's First Nations communities. The 1,000-square-foot home is intended for a young family, with two bedrooms and a large social space for cooking and eating. The home's solar PV panels will result in an annual net-zero energy balance to ease rising energy costs in remote communities. The team used building materials that are extremely durable and highly resistant to mold and fire. In addition to these efficiency considerations, the home's exterior and interior include references to the traditions and values of Treaty 7 Nations throughout Alberta. See the Energy Blog post.