Harnessing the Power of Sun for the Future


Hello, my name is Shawn Beears and I am a Marketing Manager in the Insulation Group for CertainTeed Corporation

shawnbeearsWith all the current attention on identifying alternative sources of energy, it is no wonder that the Solar Decathlon, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy continues to be a great international event. This exciting competition brings together educators, students, manufacturers, and the general public to push the limits of design and construction of solar powered, energy efficient homes as well as to raise awareness about renewable energy and energy efficiency. As discussed in a previous blog entitled “Stars Align for Energy Efficiency”, this is another example of how the time is right for us to not only embrace, but retain the momentum to focus on efficiency and find alternative energy sources.

The 2009 Solar Decathlon is the fourth contest to be held since its inception in 2002 and will take place in Washington, D.C. in October.  Twenty teams from colleges and universities around the world were selected from submitted proposals to compete.  The purpose of the Decathlon is “to design and build energy-efficient homes that are powered exclusively by the sun.”  The homes are designed and built where the team members live and are then dismantled and reconstructed in “the solar village” on the National Mall.

The careful selection of products and how they work together is critical to achieving zero energy. The University of Kentucky team approached CertainTeed Insulation to use our CertaSpray™ closed cell spray foam for their project.  Closed cell spray foam offers superior air sealing and thermal performance which makes it a perfect choice for energy efficiency and moisture control.  We are excited to be a part of this project as a manufacturer that is committed to sustainable product development.

The goal of the Solar Decathlon is to create homes that are attractive and easy to live in; maintain comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions; feature appealing and adequate lighting; supply energy to household appliance for cooking and cleaning; power home electronics; provide hot water; and balance energy production and consumption.

The 20 houses are open to the public from October 9 – 13 and October 15-18 on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and the event is an exciting way to learn about solar energy technologies, energy efficient products available in the marketplace, and to take a peek at what the future may hold.

Of course, I will be rooting for the University of Kentucky in the Solar Decathlon.


  1. I love reading about how people are taking steps to conserve energy and make the earth safer. Thanks for this in depth article on how we can use natural resources to provide energy.

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