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This is the exterior of Maison Reciprocity, Appalachian State University’s entry in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014.

Photo by B. Dudley Carter

Originally published: 2014-07-03 18:33:46
Last modified: 2014-07-03 18:34:29

Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 competition under way

by Allison Haver

Twenty competition houses from 17 countries and three continents have been reassembled and are currently on display for the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 competition in Versailles, France.

Maison Reciprocity, Appalachian State University's entry, is among the designs competing.

After passing inspections following 10 days of construction, Team Reciprocite successfully turned over its home to the SDE 2014 competition.

"This marked a large milestone for the team that has been two years and thousands of hours in the making with more than 1,400 students touching the project in some way," Mark Bridges, communications manager for Team REC, said in a news release.

Team REC was one of the first to assemble its house, earning the team bonus points for meeting both completion deadlines, and it was the only team to completely follow its proposed site operations plan in Versailles, according to Bridges.

The house's design has already garnered the attention of the media.

"International media outlets have photographed the house and interviewed Team REC decathletes," Bridges said.

Since the prototypes have been open to the public, students have been conducting VIP tours of the house, which they will be judged on for the competition.

French Minister of Territorial Equality and Housing Sylvia Pinel also took a special tour of Masion Reciprocity before the opening ceremony on June 27, according to Bridges.

Construction for Team Reciprocite's house design began in early September at the Solar Decathlon Headquarters in Boone, and the team began to assemble their solar structure design for testing on March 5.

After construction, the house was tested, disassembled, packaged and shipped to Europe in May, where students had 10 days to reassemble the structure for the two-week competition.

Only two universities representing the United States were selected to participate in the international competition.

In addition to ASU, Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University and its  international partner, the University of Applied Sciences of Erfurt in Germany, are competing in the event.

Maison Reciprocity is the second design from Appalachian to compete in a Solar Decathlon event.

Appalachian State first competed in the 2011 U.S. Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., with "Solar Homestead," a net-zero energy house, which won "People's Choice" by public vote.

Voting has begun for this year's People's Choice Award with online and on-site voting available until noon on July 12.

To vote for this year's People's Choice Award for REC-Maison Reciprocity, visit

For the English-language site, click on the British flag at the top left of the website.

For additional images of Maison Reciprocity, visit Facebook and search for Reciprocity 2014.

For more information about the competition, visit