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Sol Haroon is #SDLivingtheDream:
Leading the Future Through Building-Design Efficiency and Renewable Energy Education!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Sol completed his BASc (Applied Science) at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and his MS at the Georgia Institute of Technology; he is currently pursuing (part-time) his MBA at the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech.

In the latest edition of our #SDLivingtheDream series, we introduce Sol Haroon. An alumnus of the 2018 Design Challenge, Sol pushes boundaries in the renewable energy and building design projects he leads, or contributes to as an engineer. Read on to find out more about Sol’s role in creating the largest Living Building in the Southeast!


Name: Sol Haroon

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2018 Design Challenge

University team: Georgia Institute of Technology

Current organization / employer: United Renewables, also pursuing an MBA at Georgia Institute of Technology

Current role: Lead Engineer/Consulting Instructor

How did participation in the Solar Decathlon affect the trajectory of your career?

I began to better appreciate the interconnectedness of everything. In particular, creating a net zero building meant taking a holistic view and getting involved in all aspects of design from understanding load side consumption, human behavior, electrical power generation, renewables, lifecycle analysis, financial implications, and sharing through communication and education. This led to consulting work in energy generation projects, to further teaching and speaking engagements, and to current work on microgrids with United Renewables.

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design is a certified Living Building through the International Living Future Institute. Among its many sustainable features, this regenerative building converts rainwater to drinking water and meets its own power needs onsite.


Describe a work outcome, building project or other achievement you are most proud of and how (if) it relates to your experience with Solar Decathlon.

While completing my master’s in high-performance building science at Georgia Tech, I was excited to have the opportunity to model the most efficient building of its type in the entire southeastern U.S.: the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design (KBISD). It was the first Living Building on Georgia Tech’s campus.

Modeling the energy use intensity (EUI) of the building led to a fantastic opportunity to design the 330 kW photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage system that powers the building (anticipated 30%+ net positive). We were excited to present some of our findings at the AEE (Association of Energy Engineers) World Energy Conference in Washington, D.C. and at a national webinar in 2020:

I’ve also enjoyed pro bono work creating a green-collar training program through the Friends of Refugees organization in Georgia to teach folks the basics of solar installation and electricity/construction. Friends of Refugees is planning to build a sustainable development center that will be a beacon of hope for underserved communities.

Follow Sol on LinkedIn and check out some of his published articles and tutorials:


Above and photo below: Sol working with students on how to install solar panels as part of the Friends of Refugees training program. The Jolly Avenue Development Center is being developed by Friends of Refugees in Jolly Avenue Community Gardens as an energy-efficient building to serve resettled refugees.

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