The Chesapeake Bay's sad state has yielded on positive result: the bay ecosystem inspired the University of Maryland's "WaterShed" house, which won the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon over the weekend.
You can take a tour of the house above. WaterShed features solar panels, a green roof, a rain harvesting system, solar thermal water heating, sink and shower water filtration, "constructed wetlands" instead of gardens, and an indoor waterfall (!) that helps control humidity. It won the architecture competition and received a perfect score on "energy balance." It also came in second on market appeal. And unlike some of the contestants, it does look like a house one might actually want to live in (if one lived in Maryland, the merits of which other GristListers are more qualified to discuss than I am).