Skip Navigation to Main Content
Photo of Solar Decathlon Director Richard King being interviewed by a videographer.

Solar Decathlon Blog - Solar Decathlon 2013

Below you will find Solar Decathlon news from the Solar Decathlon 2013 archive, sorted by date.

Norwich University Receives Byron Stafford Award of Distinction

Monday, October 28, 2013

By Solar Decathlon

The Norwich University Solar Decathlon 2013 team received the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 Victory Reception on Oct. 12.Presented by Solar Decathlon Director Richard King’s wife, Melissa, the award is a tribute to Byron Stafford, who served as the event’s site operations manager from the first Solar Decathlon in 2002 until his death in May. A National Renewable Energy Laboratory senior scientist, Stafford was instrumental in formulating the competition rules and was dedicated to ensuring a safe competition and public exhibit. In 2009, his team installed the first Solar Decathlon village microgrid to distribute energy safely and reliably among the competition houses and to the utility grid.

Photo of Vivian Stafford shaking the hand of a Norwich University student at a reception.

Byron Stafford’s wife, Vivian, congratulates a Norwich University decathlete for the team’s receipt of the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction. (Credit: Melissa King/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

“Because of his amazing contributions to the Solar Decathlon, we remember Byron in words and deed,” said Melissa King. “Tonight, I want to recognize a team of decathletes that personifies all of Byron’s greatest qualities.”

She then announced Norwich University, creator of the Delta T-90 House, as the Solar Decathlon 2013 recipient of the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction for being “honest, caring, humble, intelligent, fair, reliable, steadfast, and genuine.”

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Wins People’s Choice Award

Sunday, October 13, 2013

By Solar Decathlon

The people have spoken. Today, UrbanEden, the solar-powered house from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, won the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 People’s Choice Award.

This award gives the public the opportunity to vote for its favorite house, and solar decathletes from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte accepted the award at a private Victory Reception at Hangar 244 in the Orange County Great Park—the last official event of Solar Decathlon 2013.

Photo of the interior of UrbanEden.

UrbanEden, which was built by students from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, won the Solar Decathlon 2013 People’s Choice Award. (Credit: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Designed as an urban infill project, UrbanEden has a variety of sustainability features, such as thermal mass, passive solar, and radiant energy as well as unique technologies that demonstrated true innovation, including radiant geopolymer concrete walls, movable photovoltaic shading, and a nighttime radiation emitter.

These technologies helped the team win a third-place award in the Engineering Contest. But what wins the People’s Choice Award is capturing the hearts of visitors. And their house is beautiful, with its light-filled rooms that open to a garden-rimmed outdoor deck, laminated bamboo cabinetry and paneling, and continuous ash flooring.

UrbanEden is a house people can imagine themselves living in. A house that could easily become a home.

See a virtual tour of UrbanEden and learn more about the house and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte team.

Vienna University of Technology Wins Solar Decathlon 2013!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

By Solar Decathlon

Team Austria from the Vienna University of Technology has won the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013.

Photo of the exterior of LISI.

Team Austria’s LISI house is the winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. (Credit: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The first-time U.S. competitor consistently wowed juries with its LISI house, after winning first place in the Communications Contest, second place in Market Appeal, and tying for third place in Engineering.  In measured contests, Team Austria received first place in both the Hot Water and Energy Balance contests.

University of Las Vegas Nevada took second place in the overall competition, and Czech Technical University received third place.

The winner of the Solar Decathlon is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Results for the final juried contest, Engineering, were announced today prior to the overall competition winners. Team Ontario (Queen’s University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College) placed first.

Photo of the Team Ontario house.

The Engineering Contest first-place winner is Team Ontario (Queen’s University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College). (Credit: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

“Team Ontario revealed a complete understanding of building science, a very good building envelope for the target climate, and excellent integration of passive and active strategies,” said Engineering Contest juror Kent W. Peterson of P2S Engineering. “We believe this team best demonstrated design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.”

Second place in Engineering went to Czech Technical University from the Czech Republic. Three teams shared third place: Team Austria from Vienna University of Technology, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and University of Nevada Las Vegas

The Engineering Contest jurors evaluate each house’s energy-efficiency savings, creative design innovations, and the functionality and reliability of each system.

See the Solar Decathlon website for final scoring results.

Solar Decathlon Continues Through Sunday

Saturday, October 12, 2013

By Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition wrapped up this morning with announcements of overall winners—but the public event continues through Sunday evening.

Now’s the time to come see the competition winners and all the spectacular houses that were all designed, built, and operated by collegiate students from across the United States and around the world.

Photos of the crowd of people in the Solar Decathlon village.

This is the last weekend to visit the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 at the Orange County Great Park. Today and tomorrow, the village of solar-powered houses built by collegiate students from across the United States and around the world will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Credit: Eric Grigorian/U.S. Department of Energy)

Today and Sunday, the competition houses are open for free public tours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. When 8 p.m. rolls around on Sunday, construction trucks will once again surround Decathlete Way, and the houses will be disassembled.

It’s always sad to see the decathletes and their houses go home after a Solar Decathlon. But it would be even sadder if they go before you’ve had a chance to see their amazing work and hear their inspiring stories.

Plan your visit to the Solar Decathlon village today!

Solar Decathlon 2013 Features the Best Houses, Closest Scoring Ever

Friday, October 11, 2013

Solar Decathlon

As the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 approaches the finish line, the standings are tight—in fact, the closest ever, which is a reflection of the quality of the competition houses. At each Solar Decathlon, we say that everyone is a winner, but this year it’s more true than ever. All the houses are impressive. As a result, the juries have issued more ties in their evaluations than ever before.

The scoring in the five performance-based contests is very close as well. The solar energy systems have been reliably producing more power than the houses need, allowing all the energy- consuming tasks to be completed with energy to spare. In fact, all the teams earned full points in the Energy Balance Contest.

In 2002, the first Solar Decathlon, the point spread between first and second was 26 points. In 2005, the first-place team won by 28 points. In 2007, there was a 25-point spread.  In 2009, it was 11 points. And in 2011, 20 points separated the winner (University of Maryland) from second place (Purdue University).

At this point, the separation between teams throughout the ranking is, on average, two to three points.  It’s the closest competition ever. And this makes it the most exciting.

After two years of hard work and nine days of head-to-head competition, tomorrow is what we’ve all been waiting for—the announcement of the overall winner at 10 a.m. PDT.