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Calling the Next Sustainable Building Professionals—Register for the Solar Decathlon 2024 Design Challenge

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Are you a student or professor interested in transforming buildings to tackle the climate crisis?

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is seeking collegiate student participants from diverse majors to join the next round of the zero energy building design competition. Students from collegiate institutions in the United States and around the world are encouraged to form interdisciplinary teams and register!

  • The Design Challenge is an annual collegiate competition challenging interdisciplinary teams to create high-performance, low-carbon building designs that address real-world issues such as climate resilience, affordability, and environmental justice.
  • Design a sustainable retrofit of an existing building or a new construction building in one of the following divisions:
    • Single-Family Housing
    • Attached Housing
    • Multifamily Building
    • Education Building
  • The 2024 Design Challenge rules provide more information and detail on the 10 contests that make up the Decathlon.
  • REGISTER your team for the 2024 Design Challenge today! Registration closes on October 18, 2023, at 5 p.m. EDT.
  • Join us for the 2024 Design Challenge kickoff webinar on September 5, 2023, at 1 p.m. EDT to learn more

“An incredible experience—I left with such inspiration to design for a better world by working with other people that have the same goal.”         

– 2023 Design Challenge Student


Mark your calendars for key competition dates:

  • August 15, 2023: Team registration opens and rules are released.
  • October 18, 2023: Team registration closes.
  • December 5, 2023: Teams are encouraged to submit an optional, preliminary project summary.
  • February 23–24, 2024: Students present their preliminary designs to industry expert jurors at a virtual semifinal competition event.
  • April 19–21, 2024: Selected finalist teams compete in person or virtually during the competition event hosted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.

Collegiate institutions can have multiple teams (but only one team per division) and can partner with other schools. Deliverables are due between February and April 2024, with finalists competing at NREL. Check out the Solar Decathlon 2023 recap video to see the event.

About the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon prepares innovators to design high-performance, low-carbon buildings through hands-on collegiate competitions, professional continuing education, and high school programs. The Design Challenge is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition.

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