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How To Apply for the Solar Decathlon

Is your school or organization interested in participating in the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon? The Solar Decathlon Competition Guide is available!

Two Challenges, Ten Contests

This Solar Decathlon, which spans 2020 to 2023, gives teams the option to participate in one of two Challenges: the Design Challenge or the Build Challenge. Whether participating in the Design or Build Challenge, all teams are evaluated across 10 Contests.

Design Challenge (Annual)

Teams that compete in the annual Design Challenge create residential or commercial building designs during one or two semesters. Designs are evaluated on how well they meet the nation’s rapidly evolving demand for zero energy buildings. Design Challenge teams choose to compete in one of six Divisions: New Housing, Retrofit Housing, Attached Housing, Multifamily Building, Office Building, and Education Building. The Design Partners program is an optional opportunity for teams to collaborate with organizations that are considering a zero energy ready design for a planned or existing building project. Learn more about the Design Partners program.

The application period is closed for the 2022 Design Challenge. Information about the 2023 Design Challenge will be available in summer of 2022.

Build Challenge (Biennial)

The Build Challenge is a two-year design-build competition, which focuses on two critical goals: to integrate high-performance design and construction education into degree programs, and to inspire the public and industry through innovations implemented by student teams. The Build Challenge encourages teams to create solutions for real-world issues in the building industry. Qualifying teams design and build houses that are displayed and measured locally in their communities.

The application period is closed for the 2023 Build Challenge. Information about the 2025 Build Challenge will be available in summer of 2023.


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