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Solar Decathlon Blog - Competition

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

Design Challenge Weekend Will Be a Completely Virtual Event

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Due to the recent health concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Design Challenge Weekend (April 17–19) will be transitioned to a completely virtual event with a similar schedule. There will be no in-person activities at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory or the adjacent Denver West Marriott hotel.

The revised agenda for the virtual Design Challenge Weekend and an addendum to the Competition Rules outlining changes due to the virtual nature of the event have been posted.

(more…)

#SDLivingTheDream,
Teresa Hamm Modley:
Designing, Building and Beyond

Monday, March 9, 2020

We’re continuing our series, #SDLivingTheDream, highlighting alumni of both the Build Challenge and Design Challenge and how their time in the competition 

has shaped their careers and their lives. This month, it’s an alum of *both* Challenges.

…………………

Name: Teresa Hamm Modley

Year participated in Solar Decathlon:

  1. 2011 Solar Decathlon (as a team partner for the Empowerhouse, I worked for Habitat for Humanity of DC)
  2. 2017-2018 Race to Zero, Elementary School Division (more…)

U.S. Department of Energy Signs Memorandum of Understanding with India for Solar Decathlon India Competition in 2021

Thursday, March 5, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide collaboration and support to India in the establishment of Solar Decathlon India in 2021.

“India is joining an international family of Solar Decathlons that is preparing students all over the world to design and build homes integrated with advanced energy technologies while ensuring affordability and comfort,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Following President Trump and Secretary Brouillette’s visit to India, we are excited to continue collaborating with India on science and technologies that foster innovation through the power of competition.”

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is a longstanding collegiate competition that challenges students to design and build high-performance, energy-efficient homes powered by renewable energy. Solar Decathlon India joins five other international competitions in Europe, China, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, and Africa.

The MOU, signed today by Assistant Secretary of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Daniel R Simmons, and the Executive Director of the India U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), Dr. Nandini Kannan, allows DOE to collaborate with IUSSTF and its partners on the framework for the 2021 competition.

As part of the competition, university teams compete in 10 contests ranging from architecture and engineering to resilience and market potential.  The winners are those teams that best blend architectural and engineering excellence with innovation in how their building interacts with the world around it. To date, more than 40,000 students have participated in U.S. and international Solar Decathlon editions. The competition is a vehicle for workforce development, clean energy outreach, and technology demonstration.

The next U.S. Solar Decathlon will be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from June 24 through July 5, 2020 as a part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. For more information, visit www.solardecathlon.com.

Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Finalist Teams Announced; Countdown Begins

Monday, March 2, 2020

Six weeks and counting! This year’s finalist teams for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge are vying to be one of two Grand Winners during the Design Challenge Weekend, April 17-19, 2020, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

Students from 48 teams representing 36 collegiate institutions have taken a big step in advancing their education and careers by being selected as members of finalist teams.

(more…)

Local Issues, Global Impacts: Confessions of a Globe-Trotting Juror

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

I have a confession to make. My name is Stacy Hunt, and I’m a serial juror for the international editions of Solar Decathlon. It’s okay, the addiction is self-limiting and mostly benign. 🙂

That said, I’m in pretty deep at this point. In 2019, I had the opportunity to be a juror at all three international competitions: July in Budapest, Hungary for Solar Decathlon Europe, September in Marrakech, Morocco, for Solar Decathlon Africa, and most recently in Cali, Colombia for Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean.

(more…)

#SDLivingTheDream,
Bennett Doherty:
Solar Decathlon Introduced Me to This Field

Monday, February 10, 2020

We’re continuing our series, #SDLivingTheDream, highlighting alumni of both the Build Challenge and Design Challenge and how their time in the competition has shaped their careers and their lives.

…………………

Name: Bennett Doherty

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2018 Design Challenge

University team: Middlebury College

Current organization / employer: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Current role: Research Engineer in the Commercial Buildings Group

(more…)

Check Out What’s New with Solar Decathlon!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Want to create buildings that help address the most pressing needs of our time? Love the thrill of competing with top students across the country and around the world? If so, the U.S Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is for you!

(more…)

#SDLivingTheDream,
Dylan Weber Callahan:
Learning the Importance of Collaboration

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


Today we begin a new series on the Solar Decathlon blog, #SDLivingTheDream, highlighting alumni of both the Build Challenge and Design Challenge and how their time in the competition has shaped their careers and their lives. First up, we talk to Dylan Weber Callahan, who competed in the most recent Build Challenge and has already parlayed that experience into a great design job with HOK.

…………………

Name: Dylan Weber Callahan

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: Solar Decathlon 2017 in Denver, CO

University team: Washington University in St. Louis

Current organization / employer: HOK (New York office)

Current role: Design Professional

(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.

(more…)

Announcing the Solar Decathlon 2020 Design Challenge Teams!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Eighty-two teams from 55 collegiate institutions are participating in the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge! These teams are vying to be selected as one of the finalist teams that will present their projects at an expert-juried event April 17–19, 2020, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

(more…)

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…)

Solar Decathlon Africa: Cool Oasis of Creativity in the Desert

Friday, October 4, 2019

By Holly Carr

It took three weeks for a Solar Village to rise in the desert of Morocco. Benguerir, a town of about 100,000 people one hour north of Marrakesh, is home to the first ever Solar Decathlon Africa. Across the hot, red landscape, university students in bright yellow vests rushed here and there, pounding hammers and running saws to put finishing touches to the structures — 18 homes powered by renewable energy.

(more…)

One Month Remaining to Apply for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Design Challenge

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Collegiate teams can test their creativity, ingenuity, and passion for designing highly efficient and innovative buildings by participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2020 Design Challenge. Teams must apply by Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

 

Interested collegiate institutions can find detailed information on how to apply for the 2020 Design Challenge in the Solar Decathlon 2020 Competition Guide. 2020 Design Challenge teams that are selected as Finalist Teams will present their projects at an expert-juried event, April 17–19, 2020, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. (more…)

Apply to Compete in the 2020 Design Challenge Today!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Ready to test your creativity, ingenuity, and passion for designing highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy? The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2020 Design Challenge is ready for you!

With the release of the Solar Decathlon 2020 Competition Guide, interested collegiate institutions can find detailed information on how to apply for the 2020 Design Challenge. 2020 Design Challenge teams that are selected as Finalist Teams will present their projects at an expert-juried event, April 17–19, 2020, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

(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.

(more…)

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