Dow Solar Sponsors Empowerhouse Team in 2011 Solar Decathlon

Hoboken, NJ – Dow Solar announced its sponsorship of Empowerhouse, a team participating in the 2011 Solar Decathlon Competition, which will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this fall. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, this biennial competition challenges college students to design, build, and operate a solar-powered house.

The Empowerhouse team is comprised of more than 200 students across a range of disciplines from Parsons The New School for Design, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy and Stevens Institute of Technology. In addition to the competition home, the students are taking their project a step further. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, the team will build a second home in Deanwood, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C. At the conclusion of the competition, the two homes will be joined together to provide housing for two local families. The homes will adhere to Passive House principles and will consume up to 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a typical home, incorporating energy-efficient appliances, maximizing natural light, photovoltaic panels and micro-mechanical systems.

“We are honored to be partnering with Dow Solar, a company that is focused on sustainability,” said Michael Bruno, Dean of Charles V. Schaefer Jr. School of Engineering and Science at Stevens. “The Empowerhouse team is constructing a home that will serve as a model for energy efficiency.”

Green innovation has become a focus for the Dow Chemical Company, which is committed to finding solutions to today’s energy issues.

“Dow Solar is delighted to support the Empowerhouse team because it brings together the newest thinking around design and technology,” said Jane Palmieri, Vice President of Dow Solar. “It’s so important for universities to be tapping into the creativity of the nation’s brightest and freshest minds to foster renewable energy innovations – they understand the needs of consumers that are looking for ways to incorporate solar products into their homes without interfering with the design or their lifestyle.”

Empowerhouse is one of 20 teams competing in the 2011 Solar Decathlon. The houses are judged and measured in 10 categories: architecture, market appeal, engineering, communications, affordability, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment, and energy balance. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence.

About Empowerhouse Partner Organizations

Parsons The New School for Design and Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy are a vital part of The New School, a university with a legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. One of world's leading schools of art and design education, Parsons offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the full spectrum of disciplines, creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. Milano trains leaders for the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, blending theory with hands-on practice, and progressive thinking with social commitment. For more information visit

Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology , The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management. Stevens offers baccalaureate, master's, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts. For more information visit

Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. believes that everyone deserves a house they want to call home.  That's why we work to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness in the nation's capital by building affordable, energy- and resource-efficient homes for people in need.  DC Habitat builds and rehabilitates homes in order to sell them to families who are ineligible for conventional financing. For more information visit

The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development creates and preserves opportunities for affordable housing and economic development and to revitalize underserved communities in the District of Columbia. The department fulfills its mission by providing gap financing; increasing first-time homeownership opportunities; providing funding to rehabilitate single-family and multi-family homes; supporting communities through neighborhood based activities; providing funding for homelessness prevention; addressing vacant and abandoned properties; and overseeing the administration of rental housing laws. For more information, visit

In 2007, Dow received a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as  part of its Solar America Initiative to develop "building integrated" solar arrays for the residential and commercial markets. In October 2009, Dow Solar unveiled the DOW™ POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingle as the first in a portfolio of building related solar energy generating products. Since its introduction, the Solar Shingle has been hailed as revolutionary, including being named one of the "50 Best Inventions of 2009" by TIME magazine.The innovative product design provides an unprecedented integrated roof appearance and simplified installation. It combines a roofing shingle with a solar cell, enabling the DOW™ POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingle to be installed by a roofer along with standard asphalt roofing materials. This makes the DOW™ POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingle an easy choice for homeowners looking for a residential solar solution that is easy to install and aesthetically pleasing. Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) products from Dow Solar are evidence that Dow is focused on developing energy alternatives and expanding Dow's commitment to use chemistry to solve the world's energy challenges. More information about Dow Solar can be found at