Photo of Team Austria celebrating their Solar Decathlon 2013 victory.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

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Architecture Contest

(100 points)

For the Architecture Contest of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, teams are required to design and build attractive, high-performance houses that integrate solar and energy efficiency technologies seamlessly into the design.

A jury of professional architects focuses on:

  • Architectural concept and design approach
    • Does a clear concept guide the design process?
    • Is there coherence among architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and landscaping elements?
    • Does the design offer a sense of inspiration and delight?

  • Architectural implementation and innovation
    • Are the scale and proportion, indoor-outdoor connections, and composition effective?
    • Is the design holistic and integrated? Will it be comfortable for occupants and compatible with the surrounding environment?
    • Is the natural and electric lighting well-integrated? Are the lighted spaces rich and varied?
    • Is quality demonstrated in material selection, detail, and implementation?
    • Does the house reflect an innovative approach to residential architecture?

  • Documentation
    • Do the team drawings, construction specifications, and audiovisual presentation accurately reflect the constructed house?