A multidisciplinary team of students and faculty from the College of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, have teamed together to design, build and promote the University of Maryland’s entry into the 2011 Solar Decathlon. The Solar Decathlon is a biennial event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where 20 international university teams compete to design and build the most efficient and attractive house using the latest technology in sustainable design and solar energy. The goals of the 2011 house, called WaterShed, are to use nature as a mentor, and to push building technology beyond “net zero” energy consumption such that the house produces more energy than it uses.
This team has received a grant of $4,500 to build a constructed wetland that will treat grey water (all wastewater except kitchen sink and toilet wastewater) produced by the house. The constructed wetland used at WaterShed will reduce the amount of wastewater that would normally flow to the local treatment plant. Once the water is treated, the occupant or homeowner will be able to reuse the water on site for irrigation, saving on amount of fresh water needed.