- The LEAFHouse was the University of Maryland’s (UMD) second-place winner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2007 Solar Decathlon Competition.
- The solar home features Uponor PEX tubing for the radiant floor heating and plumbing systems, along with various radiant accessories and controls.
- Uponor rep, Skipper Joyce, and contractor, Dan Foley, helped the UMD students with product, design, training, and support to achieve the goals for their 800-square-foot, solar-powered home.
The 2007 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition brought out 20 of the world’s strongest universities in engineering and architecture to vie for the coveted prize of being the best at sustainable, energy-efficient home design.
Dan Zimmerman, mechanical enginnering student at UMD and mechanical team leader of the 2007 Solar Decathlon project, requested help from Sheldon Shapiro, chief executive officer of Shapiro & Duncan, Inc. mechanical contracting firm — where he interned while studying at Montgomery College in Rockville, Md., prior to transfering to UMD.
“We were excited to help support a good thing and promote sustainable energy,” Shapiro explains.
Shapiro requested the help of Skipper Joyce, president of The Joyce Agency in Springfield, Va., and the local representative for Uponor, Inc. Uponor donated approximately $6,000 worth of crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing and fittings for the plumbing and radiant heating systems, as well as variety of system accessories, including controllers, pumps, valves and electronic equipment.
Joyce then contacted Dan Foley of Foley Mechanical in Alexandria, Va., to help with the radiant design and installation.
“While we could have handled the project ourselves, that’s not what I wanted,” states Foley. “The students had to do the work, and they did everything, including the design. I offered guidance and generated a material list, while Uponor donated all the product on the list through Skipper.”
The radiant floor heating system throughout the one-level, 800-square-foot test house was entirely powered by a rooftop solar collector.
The design featured 2,000 feet of Uponor ½" Multi-layer Composite (MLC) Tubing placed in radiant panels, a TruFLOW™ manifold to balance the water flow, an Uponor pro Series 101 temperature mixing control that was tied into an Uponor ¾" Three-way Floating Action Mixing Valve, as well as Uponor SetPoint 511s dual-sensing thermostats to track the air and floor temperatures.
By incorporating radiant with solar panels, the UMD Solar Decathlon Home was the ultimate in energy-efficient, sustainable technology.
Improved Environmental Quality
Single-level, 800-square-foot home with rooftop solar panels
Uponor AquaPEX® for plumbing; Uponor Multi-layer Composite (MLC) for radiant
TruFLOW™ brass manifold, SetPoint 511s, pro Series 101 temperature mixing control, ¾" Three-way Floating Action Mixing Valve, SetPoint 511s thermostats