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Enertia® Building System Mass Timber Homes named Grand Prize Winner in the Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge
Wake Forest, NC, May 10, 2007. The Enertia® Building System, invented by Wake Forest builder Michael Sykes, has been chosen as the 2007 Modern Marvel of the Year in the Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge. The Challenge is a contest to find America’s next great invention idea-and help bring it to life. The Challenge is sponsored by the History Channel, Invent Now, Inc. TIME Magazine, and Lexus.

Sykes was selected from 2,200 entries based on the criteria of: 1) A technological Breakthrough 2) Cleverness, and 3) Historical significance. Twenty-five semi-finalists were flown to New York for final judging at Citigroup Center in New York City on May 10th. The winners were announced that evening at a reception at the Princeton Club and will be publicized on the Modern Marvels TV programs during the week of May 14th.
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Michael Sykes’ invention, U.S. Patent No. 6,933,016, is technology to turn a piece of wood into a thermal battery. Wood is no longer just a structural member, or just a decorative trim or paneling- it becomes a solar energy storing device, and when the house is properly configured and sited it can heat and cool itself. Obviously, the more wood the better, so the invention is especially applicable to solid wood homes. This energy from a shift-in-time is called “Enertia®” a word, like the word “Laser,” that Sykes made up and trademarked to describe the phenomenon. Enertia® Building Systems has developed a line of solid Gluelam wall homes to maximize the energy-storing potential of the wood, and to offer the mainstream appearance necessary to attract traditional housing buyers. The homes can be seen on the Enertia® website at www.enertia.com.
Because Enertia® homes ‘sequester carbon’ in their massive wood walls, as well reduce carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, they caught the attention of the Modern Marvels judges- who were looking for breakthrough inventions with global potential.
An exhibit of the semi-Finalists’ inventions travelled to science museums across the country. The Enertia® Building System exhibit consisted of a scale model of an Enertia® House, and a wall section. Accompanying text, photos and a video clip explained and show how Enertia® systems built homes are attractive, economical, and in this case, green and innovative.