Porter-Cable Sponsors University of Maryland Solar Decathlon Team

Donates tools and accessories to build solar-powered house for national engineering competition.

PORTER-CABLE is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 University of Maryland team. PORTER-CABLE donated a variety of tools, including cordless and corded drills, circular saws, batteries, chargers, compressors, routers, pneumatic nailers and much more to aid in the construction of the team's solar-powered house, which the University of Maryland team will assemble and operate during the competition.

"We're extremely thankful for the generous tool donation provided to us by PORTER-CABLE," said Brian Grieb, faculty project manager for University of Maryland. "Their tools helped our team construct the home in a timely and efficient manner. We had a tool for every need. "

According to Grieb, the University of Maryland's entry, WaterShed, will be on public display at Solar Decathlon 2011 at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. from Sept. 23 through Oct. 2, 2011. WaterShed's mission is to design a solar-powered house, inspired and guided by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem that interconnects the house, landscape, and people who live in it. Watershed is focused on harnessing solar energy to power the house as well as tackling issues related to the stewardship of water by incorporating design elements such as constructed wetlands and grey water filtration to capture, treat and store water. Nearly 200 students from different disciplines including architecture, engineering, environmental science and technology, plant sciences and landscape architecture are participating in the development and construction of the house.

According to the University of Maryland, the home, which provides 925 square feet of living space, has an open floor plan that features two large modules that act as the living quarters and are bridged by a spacious bathroom. WaterShed's sloped roofs are well suited for harvesting rainwater and generate enough solar energy to power and heat the home year-round. WaterShed also features constructed wetlands for water filtration and reuse, edible gardens and interior desiccant waterfalls that provide high-efficiency cooling and humidity control.

"We're very proud to provide the University of Maryland team with the power tools needed to build such an innovative and environmentally-conscious home," said Frank DeSantis, director, brand marketing PORTER-CABLE. "It was only logical to support a local team, and we're excited to see how the house fairs in the competition."

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is held every two years in Washington D.C. During each competition, university-led student teams from around the world design and build affordable and highly efficient, solar-powered homes to be thoroughly tested, expertly judged, and publicly displayed. The judging is based on a scoring system and involves ten contests: architecture, market appeal, engineering, communications, affordability, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment and energy balance.

Solar Decathlon 2011 is being held at the National Mall's West Potomac Park, on the banks of the Potomac River along the patch between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and near the new Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.

About the Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. For more information, visit

About WaterShed
WaterShed is the University of Maryland's submission to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, and the creative inter-disciplinary collaboration of over 200 Maryland students from various departments and schools, including the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, and the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources. WaterShed takes its inspiration from the nearby Chesapeake Bay, creating a sustainable, solar-powered house that connects its inhabitants with the landscape around them. To follow WaterShed's progress, visit

With more than 100 years of experience producing quality and performance-driven tools, PORTER-CABLE is a leading manufacturer and marketer of professional-grade cordless and corded power tools, equipment, and accessories. Known for industry-changing innovation, PORTER-CABLE introduced the world's first helical drive circular saw, portable band saw and portable belt sander. For more information about PORTER-CABLE professional-grade power tools, visit