The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon houses represent the best of modern engineering. For the Engineering Contest, a jury of professional engineers evaluates each house for:
- Are unique approaches used to solve design challenges?
- Do the innovations have market potential?
- Does the design demonstrate market-leading technologies and engineering integration?
- Do the house systems enhance occupant comfort and house performance?
- Does the HVAC system maintain uniform conditions via temperature control, humidity control, and air movement?
- Do the HVAC system and thermal envelope minimize energy use?
- Is energy efficiency and overall system performance considered? Compared with typical systems, how much energy is the design expected to save over a year?
- Will controls help occupants reduce their energy consumption?
- Is the engineering approach effective, efficient, and practical?
- Does the design address maintenance and owner operation of house systems?
- How long are the systems expected to operate efficiently?
- Do the drawings, construction specifications, energy analysis results and discussion, and audiovisual presentation accurately reflect the constructed project?