The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 houses represent the best of modern engineering. For the Engineering Contest, a jury of professional engineers evaluates each house for:
Does the house's energy and HVAC systems function as intended?
How much energy would the house's systems save over the course of a year relative to conventional systems? Would the system controls facilitate a reduction in energy consumption during a year of operation?
Are unique approaches used to solve design challenges? Do the innovations have true market potential?
How long are the systems expected to operate at a high level of performance? How much maintenance is required to keep them operating at a high level?
Do the construction drawings, project manual, and presentations accurately reflect the constructed project as assembled on the competition site?