“Instead of focusing only on energy efficiency at this year’s Solar Decathlon, the University of Maryland is also tackling water conservancy with their entry, WaterShed. WaterShed was inspired by the ecosystem of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. WaterShed is an example of how natural water resources can be maintained and protected by homes and buildings, and the house features technology to manage and harvest stormwater, filter and recycle greywater, and minimizing water use in general. In addition, the house also has PV and solar thermal arrays for sustainable energy production.
The design of the home was inspired by the path of a water drop, and the design of the roof serves to collect rainwater along a central axis–picture a traditional peaked roof, but inverted. The house itself is designed as two modules, or “sheds” connected by a third module, or “hyphen.” The idea behind this “hyphenation” is to physically separate the living and working, private and public areas, as the house is designed to be used as an office space as well as a home. This allows residents to work at home, but still be able to remove themselves from the work world and relax in a space designed solely for living. But because both home and work life share a few common needs, the bathroom is housed in the hyphen.”