The U.S. Department of Energy hosted its biennial Solar Decathlon from October 5-15 in Denver, Colorado. The event — which attracted over 90,000 visitors — challenged 12 collegiate teams to build full-size, solar-powered houses that embody sustainable design.

Graduate students from the University of Maryland team, sponsored by Humanscale, showcased their ReACT design — an innovative building system that stands for “Resilient Adaptive Climate Technology” and prioritizes energy efficiency. ReACT showcases how a sustainable future is more than just designing a better built home — it is a lifestyle system that incorporates a home with its surrounding environment, interacts with its occupants and strives to give back more than it takes.

reAct Team Maryland

Image by reACT Team Maryland[/caption] The design, which was awarded second place in the competition, included solar panels, a wall that uses an agricultural technique called hydroponic farming, and an enclosed patio which can be used as a climate-controlled greenhouse to grow crops. Humanscale proudly supported the University of Maryland team and their philosophy that design can and should be restorative. Just as these inspiring students aimed to make ReACT a self-sustaining home, Humanscale strives to be a self-sustaining company — operating on its own water and energy to ultimately make a positive contribution to the planet.

Humanscale Office Set Up Work Station
Image by reACT Team Maryland

The home featured Humanscale’s Infinity LED task light, Element Disc light and Diffrient Smart chair. While our award-winning task lights provided beautiful, energy-efficient light throughout the home, the Diffrient Smart chair, a certified Living Product, offered functional seating while making a positive contribution to the environment.