Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University took first place in the Design Presentation and Simulation Contest at the Solar Village on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this week. Carnegie Mellon University placed second and the University of Maryland placed third.Washington, D.C. – October 2, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Also, the University of Virginia has won place first in the Design and Livability contest while the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez placed second and The University of Texas at Austin third. Design Presentation and Simulation is one of ten contests in the Solar Decathlon, which runs through Oct. 5. Competing teams are also amassing points in other aspects of the competition. The Design and Livability judging results were announced Sunday, and the teams are being judged continuously on several aspects of the performance of their houses. To win the solar home building competition, a team must blend aesthetics and modern conveniences with maximum energy production and efficiency. For the Solar Decathlon, the solar decathletes had to figure ways to harness the power of the sun to supply all the energy for an entire household, including a home-based business, along with the transportation needs of the household and business. Each house, limited to roughly 500 square feet for purposes of the competition, is being judged on 10 criteria to determine which most efficiently employs solar energy for heating, cooling, hot water, lighting, appliances, computers and charging an electric car. Experts from DOE and NREL are measuring each home’s energy production and use.