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DOE Announces Solar Decathlon 2024 Design Challenge Winners

Monday, April 22, 2024

The team from The University of Arizona earned the Grand Winner award in the 2024 Design Challenge.

The team from The University of Arizona earned the Grand Winner award in the 2024 Design Challenge.

Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon® DOE’s longest-running student competition, announced the winners of the 2024 Design Challenge.

The Solar Decathlon challenges the next generation of building professionals to design high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy, promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry. The Solar Decathlon’s Design Challenge is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition.

The University of Arizona won top honors—out of 40 finalist teams from around the world—taking home the Grand Winner trophy for their partnership with the Hopi Tribe on 24 eco-friendly rowhouses that integrate passive design techniques and a microgrid to promote energy sovereignty for the community.

The University of Arizona also won their Attached Housing Division, alongside Georgia Institute of Technology for the Single-Family Housing Division, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay for the Multifamily Building Division, and Southeast University & Tibet University for the Education Building Division.

Re-watch the Awards Ceremony livestream. 

More than 250 students from 40 finalist teams participated in the 2024 Design Challenge, a hybrid competition event hosted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, April 19–21, 2024.

“For 22 years, the Solar Decathlon has been preparing students to lead the clean energy transition,” Building Technologies Office (BTO) Director Mandy Mahoney said. “I was inspired by this year’s teams and their inclusive vision for the spaces in which we live, learn, work and play, including transformative designs for affordable housing and vulnerable communities.  The real-world learning experience these students gained from the competition will benefit them for years to come as they transition into the buildings workforce and contribute to the implementation of President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda.”

Since 2002, more than 40,000 students worldwide have participated in the Solar Decathlon’s 10 contests. Many of them have moved on to become leading architects, engineers, and other professions in the buildings industry like those identified in BTO’s Green Buildings Career Map.

Congratulations to the 2024 Design Challenge Winners:

Grand Winner:

The University of Arizona—Tucson, Arizona (Attached Housing)

Single-Family Housing Division

1st Place, Georgia Institute of Technology—Atlanta, Georgia

2nd Place, The University of British Columbia Okanagan—Kelowna, British Columbia & Thompson Rivers University—Kamloops, British Columbia

3rd Place, Wentworth Institute of Technology—Boston, Massachusetts

Attached Housing Division

1st Place, The University of Arizona—Tucson, Arizona

2nd Place, Oklahoma State University—Stillwater, Oklahoma

3rd Place, The University of British Columbia—Vancouver, British Columbia

Multifamily Building Division

1st Place, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay—Mumbai, India

2nd Place, The University of Arizona—Tucson, Arizona

3rd Place, University of Missouri—Columbia, Missouri

Education Building Division

1st Place, Southeast University—Nanjing, China & Tibet University—Lhasa, China

2nd Place, University of Oregon—Eugene, Oregon

3rd Place, Tehran University of Art—Tehran, Iran

Applications for the Solar Decathlon 2025 Design Challenge will open this summer. Additional details about the competition may be found on the Solar Decathlon website.

Solar Decathlon Faculty and Alumni Awards

Each year, the Solar Decathlon selects an outstanding faculty advisor and competition alumni for their contributions to the transition to a clean energy economy.

The Solar Decathlon 2024 Faculty and Alumni Award winners are:

Lisa D. Iulo, associate professor of architecture at The Pennsylvania State University, won the Solar Decathlon 2024 Faculty Award. Iulo has served as a team advisor for nine consecutive Solar Decathlon Design Challenges and two Build Challenge competitions (2007 and 2009) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Iulo developed two Solar Decathlon-related courses that connected students with local communities to work on real-world projects that benefit people and the environment.

Pete Choquette, founder and principal of real estate development firm Solsbury Hill and sister design firm Centripetal Works, won the Solar Decathlon 2024 Alumni Award. Choquette was on the winning Georgia Institute of Technology team in the 2022 Design Challenge. Since graduating from Georgia Tech, he has continued to work as a liaison between the university’s faculty and students, the university’s Energy Policy and Innovation Center, and West Side Atlanta neighborhood stakeholders to implement the project. Additionally, he is assisting in the effort to create a community design center that would provide design and building science-related services to these underserved communities and scale up his Solar Decathlon team’s innovative and replicable project model.



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