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Solar Decathlon Blog - Awards

Below you will find Solar Decathlon news from the Awards archive, sorted by date.

Solar Decathlon 2024 winners, new SD Pro class launches, and ZEDD applications open!

Thursday, May 9, 2024

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

2024 Design Challenge

ICYMI: 2024 Design Challenge Winners Partner with Hopi Tribe, Look to Construct

In case you missed the announcement, The University of Arizona is the Grand Winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2024 Design Challenge!

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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.

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Solar Decathlon Awards Nominations Open, SD Pro January Cohort, and More!

Friday, December 15, 2023

Three women smiling and looking at the camera, holding awards, against a backdrop with the Solar Decathlon logo.

Nominate an Outstanding Solar Decathlon Alum or Faculty Member by Feb. 1!

Know a Solar Decathlon alum or faculty lead who should be celebrated for accomplishments in the buildings industry? Nominate them for the Solar Decathlon Alumni/Faculty Awards!

These annual awards are given to past U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon® participants at the student or faculty level who have made outstanding contributions to the transition to a clean energy economy.

Nominate by Feb. 1 to be considered. Winners will be announced in April 2024 at the Solar Decathlon Competition Event at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

Nominate today!

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DOE Announces 21st Annual Solar Decathlon Winners

Monday, April 24, 2023

Ball State University, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and The Cooper Union Named 2023 Build and Design Challenge Winners

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the winners of the 21st annual Solar Decathlon®, DOE’s longest-running student competition. The annual collegiate contest challenges the next generation of building professionals to design and construct high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy, while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry. Ball State University, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art won the top honors at this year’s competition and were announced at the Solar Decathlon Competition Event at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado yesterday.
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TWO DAYS REMAIN – Nominate a Faculty Advisor or Alum for the Solar Decathlon Richard King Award by February 1!

Monday, January 30, 2023

A collage of past Richard King Award winners -

Last Chance to Nominate a Faculty Advisor or Alum for the Solar Decathlon Richard King Award!

Has an influential U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Alum or Faculty Advisor made a positive impact on you, the program, or building a clean energy economy? Nominate them for the Richard King Award by February 1, 2023!

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Solar Decathlon Honored with U.S. Green Building Council Leadership Award

Friday, July 1, 2022

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U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Director, Holly Jamesen Carr (center), accepts the 2022 Malcolm Lewis IMPACT! Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on June 9. (Photo courtesy of USGBC)

Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® was honored with the Malcolm Lewis IMPACT! Award during the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Live conference. The annual USGBC awards recognize organizations that have demonstrated vision and commitment to the advancement of the green building industry; other recipients this year included Marriott International and the District of Columbia.

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DOE Celebrates 20th Annual Solar Decathlon for Next-Generation Clean Energy Buildings

Monday, April 25, 2022

2022 Design Challenge Grand Winners - Georgia Tech

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the winners of the 20th annual Solar Decathlon®, DOE’s longest-tenured student competition that has challenged 40,000 students across the world to use the latest technologies to design and build the most sustainable buildings possible. Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona won this year’s Design Challenge for residential and commercial building grand prizes, respectively.

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SECRETARY GRANHOLM ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF SOLAR DECATHLON DESIGN AND BUILD CHALLENGES

Monday, April 19, 2021

Competitors Represent the Next Generation of Energy-Savvy Architects and Engineers Who Will Build Our Clean Energy Future

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm yesterday joined college students from around the world to announce the winners of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon—a collegiate competition that challenges the next generation of building professionals to design and construct high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy. The 72 competing teams representing 12 countries designed resilient and energy-efficient, homes, schools, offices, and retail spaces; nine of which were constructed and presented in the first-ever Solar Decathlon Virtual Village on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Watch Sunday’s awards ceremony and Secretary Granholm’s remarks HERE. (more…)

First-Ever Solar Decathlon Africa Shines With Passion and Progress

Friday, November 15, 2019

By Stacy Hunt

In late September, I found myself in a futuristic eco-village outside of Ben Guerir, Morocco, six time zones away from home. As a juror for the Communications and Social Awareness Contest in the first-ever Solar Decathlon Africa, I had some tough decisions ahead of me.

This wasn’t my first rodeo. I was a juror for Solar Decathlon Europe in Szentendre, Hungary; I’ve attended several U.S. competitions, and I have worked with the U.S. organizing team since 2013.

But as soon as I stepped onto the site, Solar Decathlon Africa felt different. The energy of the students, and their region-, craft-, and culture-specific solutions were somehow more robust than what I’ve seen on the whole in other Solar Decathlons.

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Two Weeks Left to Apply for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Design Challenge!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Collegiate teams have only two more weeks to apply for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2020 Design Challenge. Solar Decathlon gives teams an opportunity to showcase their creativity, ingenuity, and passion for designing highly efficient and innovative buildings. Teams must apply by Tuesday, November 5, 2019, at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. (more…)

Congratulations to the 2019 Winners!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University team was victorious as the Grand Winner at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge Weekend. The event was held on April 12–14, 2019, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, and included 45 finalist teams, representing 37 collegiate institutions, across the United States and other countries.

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Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Prize Amounts Announced

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is excited to announce the prize amounts for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Build Challenge. Solar Decathlon Build Challenge teams work during a two-year period to design and build complete houses that incorporate state-of-the-art energy and building design practices and technologies. DOE will select up to 12 finalist teams across the Local Build and National Showcase Divisions. All finalist teams that meet Solar Decathlon Build Challenge requirements will receive prize funds to assist in defraying their costs. Funds will be provided at various points during the two-year period pending completion of specific deliverables and requirements.

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Solar Design Lessons from the 2017 Solar Decathlon Winners

Thursday, October 26, 2017

This article was originally published on the blog of Aurora Solar, a solar design and sales software company.

By Andrew Gong

Two weeks ago, during the Solar Decathlon 2017 competition, we explored the solar powered house designs from participating university teams. The designs showcased many creative and resourceful design strategies—and presented a fun challenge for modeling in Aurora.

With the competition now complete, today’s post takes a closer look at the top three teams to identify some of the solar design lessons from their success.

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And Now … Winners of the Official Unofficial Solar Decathlon Contests!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

By Ruby Theresa Nahan

If you read our They Build Through Rain, Sleet, Snow or Hail blog post, you’ll know that weather is officially Solar Decathlon’s unofficial 11th contest. And we pretty much had it all—rain, sleet, snow, wind, and lots and lots of mud. It was the first time Solar Decathlon has ever seen snow, and good news—no hail! For the Weather Contest, we’re happy to report an 11-way tie. All 11 teams completed their houses, opened to the public, and participated in the competition.

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Take A Minute to Take It All In

Saturday, October 14, 2017

By Alexis Powers

Time flies when you’re having fun. It also warps when you are working hard. Here in the Solar Decathlon village, it’s been an absolute whirlwind of both ever since assembly began three weeks ago.

Today’s Solar Decathlon Minute packs one of the competition’s most exciting days into just 110 seconds. If that feels too fast to you, then check out the other 10 Minutes we’ve posted on our YouTube channel during the 2017 event. You’ll see highlights from each house, updates on each day’s activities, and even a dancing toilet.

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