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Solar Decathlon Blog - Competition

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

Ready, Set, Go! 120+ Teams to Compete in the Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Map showing 97 collegiate institutions with 124 total teams are participating in the Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge.

97 collegiate institutions with 124 total teams are participating in the Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge.

(more…)

Exclusive Solar Decathlon Webinar, Industrialized Construction

Monday, November 7, 2022

A Blok modular apartment unit is installed at the NREL Research Block. (Photo courtesy of NREL)

A Blok modular apartment unit is installed at the NREL Research Block. (Photo courtesy of NREL)

Solar Decathlon has long been synonymous with digestible building science education. Now, the competition is launching a new initiative—SD Studio—to feature one cutting-edge building topic in depth each academic year. This year’s topic is industrialized construction!

(more…)

Last Chance to Join Solar Decathlon in 2023!

Monday, October 24, 2022

2022 Design Challenge Residential Grand Winners from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

2022 Design Challenge Residential Grand Winners from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Register for the 2023 Design Challenge by the October 26 deadline!

(more…)

One Month Left! Join the Solar Decathlon to Solve the Climate Crisis One Zero Energy Building at a Time

Monday, September 26, 2022

Solar Decsthlon participants presenting to the jury.

One month remains for collegiate teams to register for the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® cycle! Change the status quo of the built environment by imagining a zero-energy building of the future as part of the hands-on 2023 Design Challenge.

Register your team today! Registration closes on October 26 at 5 p.m. ET.

(more…)

Register for the Solar Decathlon Kickoff Webinar!

Monday, August 15, 2022

2022 Design Challenge students presenting at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Join us for the Solar Decathlon Kickoff Webinar!

Know what it takes to create a winning team for the Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge? Have questions before your collegiate team starts designing a zero energy building?

(more…)

Build Your Team! Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge Opens Registration

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Students participating in the 2022 Design Challenge and 2023 Build Challenge pose on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory campus during the Solar Decathlon 2022 Competition Event, April 22–24, 2022.

Students participating in the 2022 Design Challenge and 2023 Build Challenge pose on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory campus during the Solar Decathlon 2022 Competition Event, April 22–24, 2022.

Want to design a zero-energy building while still in school? Register now and form a 2023 Design Challenge team to develop sustainable building expertise and tackle real-world problems through the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® collegiate competition.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

20 Years and Beyond—Solar Decathlon Announces 2023 Design Challenge

Monday, April 11, 2022

Students participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2022 Design Challenge pose during the virtual Semifinal Competition Event in February 2022. Photo courtesy of NREL.

Students participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2022 Design Challenge pose during the virtual Semifinal Competition Event in February 2022. Photo courtesy of NREL.

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® announced the launch of the 2023 Design Challenge. The 2023 Design Challenge will help usher in the third decade of the Solar Decathlon, which continues to build the future clean energy workforce.

Students from collegiate institutions in the United States and around the world are encouraged to imagine the buildings of the future and apply!

Team registration for the 2023 Design Challenge will open in July 2022 and close in October 2022; the next chance to join the Build Challenge will be in 2023. Mark your calendars and start gathering your team today!

About the Solar Decathlon  

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is a collegiate competition that prepares the next generation of building professionals to design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewables. The Design Challenge is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition, while the Build Challenge is a two-year design-build competition.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022, the Solar Decathlon has challenged more than 25,000 students to create efficient, affordable buildings powered by renewables, while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry.

Buildings account for 75% of electricity use, 40% of total energy use, and 35% of carbon emissions in the United States. Solar Decathlon supports a key strategy for tackling climate challenges: developing a workforce that is equipped to design and construct a low-carbon building stock and deliver an equitable clean energy future.

Additional details are available on the Solar Decathlon website.

Fifty-Five Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Teams Advance as Finalists

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Fifty-five teams representing 38 universities are advancing as finalists in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2022 Design Challenge.

Finalist teams were chosen based on presentations and design submissions at the semifinal competition event, held virtually February 25–26, 2022. During this event, teams pitched their unique building designs, impressing industry expert jurors with their creativity and ability to tackle the most difficult issues in the built environment.

(more…)

Off to the Races—Announcing the Solar Decathlon 2022 Design Challenge and 2023 Build Challenge Teams!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

It’s the 20th anniversary of the Solar Decathlon, and 133 teams from 107 collegiate institutions are off to the races as competition begins for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2022 Design Challenge and 2023 Build Challenge teams in 20 countries and 29 U.S. states.

Over its lifetime, the Solar Decathlon has challenged more than 25,000 students to create high-performance, efficient, and affordable buildings powered by renewables while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry. The Design and Build Challenges are composed of 10 contests. The Design Challenge is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition, while the Build Challenge is a multiyear design-build competition.

“Now in its 20th year, the Solar Decathlon continues to be at the forefront of building the next generation of student leaders who can address climate change through the built environment,” said Holly Jamesen Carr, Director of Solar Decathlon in the Building Technologies Office. “As these students take on the toughest challenges in the built environment, their bright ideas and creativity will be crucial in the transition to a clean energy economy.”

A map of the world, showing all of the teams competing in the 2022 Design Challenge, and the 2023 Build Challenge

2023 Build Challenge

The number of teams competing in the 2023 Build Challenge has nearly tripled from the 2020 Build Challenge to 32 teams, and 16 of the 37 participating collegiate institutions will send teams to the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge for the first time. Over the next two years, these teams will design and build energy-efficient, fully functional homes in their communities to demonstrate creative solutions for real-world issues in the building industry.

The 37 collegiate institutions participating in the 2023 Build Challenge are:

  • Abdelmalek Essaâdi University (جامعة عبدالمالك السعدي), Tétouan, Morocco
  • Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, Colorado
  • Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  • Bangkok University (มหาวิทยาลัยกรุงเทพ), Bangkok, Thailand
  • Barber-Scotia College, Concord, North Carolina
  • Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
  • Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington
  • Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
  • École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne, France
  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India
  • Kocaeli Üniversitesi, Kocaeli, Turkey
  • Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi
  • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Navajo Technical University, Crownpoint, New Mexico
  • NewSchool of Architecture & Design, San Diego, California
  • Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • San José State University, San José, California
  • Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, Middletown, Pennsylvania
  • The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
  • Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Université Moulay Ismaïl (جامعة مولاي إسماعيل‎), Meknès, Morocco
  • University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California
  • University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
  • University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
  • University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
  • Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Woodbury University, Burbank, California

Build Challenge teams will present their designs at the Solar Decathlon Competition Event, April 24–26, 2022, for approval to move forward to the construction phase. Teams will complete construction by early 2023, exhibiting homes locally in their communities, and winning teams will be chosen in April 2023.

A rendering of a home in the desert.

The 2021 Build Challenge team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas earned third place for their entry “Mojave Bloom,” a design that created a healing space for military veterans. Photo by NREL

2022 Design Challenge

101 teams from 80 collegiate institutions have joined the 2022 Design Challenge. Cross-disciplinary teams will bring their residential or commercial building designs to the Semifinal Competition next February, followed by finalist project presentations at an expert-juried event held April 24–26, 2022.

The 80 collegiate institutions competing in the 2022 Design Challenge are:

  • Alexandria University (جامعة الإسكندرية), Alexandria, Egypt
  • Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  • Blackburn College, Carlinville, Illinois
  • Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California
  • Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, California
  • College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Escuela Especializada en Ingeniería ITCA-FEPADE, Santa Tecla, El Salvador
  • Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois
  • Jackson State University , Jackson, Mississippi
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
  • Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
  • Kern Community College District, Bakersfield, California
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri
  • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Myongji University (명지대학교), Seoul, South Korea
  • Navajo Technical University, Crownpoint, New Mexico
  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn, New York
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
  • Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont
  • Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas
  • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
  • Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
  • Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario
  • Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, California
  • School of Planning and Architecture Delhi, New Delhi, India
  • Shiraz University (انشگاه شیراز), Shiraz, Iran
  • Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
  • Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Tehran University of Art (دانشگاه هنر تهران‎) , Tehran, Iran
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York City, New York
  • The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York
  • The University of Arizona, Tuscon, Arizona
  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas
  • The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
  • The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
  • Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Université de Carthage (جامعة قرطاج), Tunis, Tunisia
  • Université de Monastir (جامعة المنستير), Monastir, Tunisia
  • Université Mohammed V de Rabat (جامعة محمد الخامس), Rabat, Morocco
  • University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
  • University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  • University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
  • University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
  • University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire
  • University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
  • University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia
  • University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center, Vermont
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts

Team enginuity group photo

Grand Winners of the 2021 Design Challenge in the Residential Division from Northwestern University. Photo by NREL

About EERE

The mission of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies and solutions to equitably transition America to net zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050, and ensure the clean energy economy benefits all Americans, creating good paying jobs for the American people—especially workers and communities impacted by the energy transition and those historically underserved by the energy system and overburdened by pollution.

 

 

Andrea Lin is #SDLivingTheDream: Learning the Collaborative Nature of Sustainable Design

Monday, October 25, 2021

Name: Andrea Lin

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2021

University team: Northwestern University

Current organization / employer: Kipnis Architecture + Planning

Current role: Architectural Intern

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

My experience in Solar Decathlon brought me the confidence in changing my career path towards one that interests me. In my third year of university, I was exploring architecture classes and began learning about the design process and high-performance buildings. However, most of the work for these classes was done as individuals so the scope of work was focused mostly on the architectural function and aesthetic. Solar Decathlon exposed me to the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of sustainable design, which has helped me adapt my experiences to my interests.

(more…)

Time is running out! Apply to Participate in Solar Decathlon by October 26

Thursday, October 21, 2021

SD logo

Compete in the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® and join more than 25,000 students from 35 countries who have experienced the impact of this unique, life-changing competition!

New and returning collegiate institutions are encouraged to register and participate in this competition that prepares the next generation of building professionals to design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewables.

(more…)

3 Weeks to Apply to Participate in Solar Decathlon by October 26

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

SD logo

Compete in the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® and join more than 25,000 students from 35 countries who have experienced the impact of this unique, life-changing competition!

New and returning collegiate institutions are encouraged to register and participate in this competition that prepares the next generation of building professionals to design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewables.

(more…)

Join Ready, Set, Solar Decathlon Event on September 16; Apply to Participate in Solar Decathlon by October 26

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Solar Decathlon logo

Compete in the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® and join more than 25,000 students from 35 countries who have experienced the impact of this unique, life-changing competition!

New and returning collegiate institutions are encouraged to register and participate in this competition that prepares the next generation of building professionals to design and build high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewables.

(more…)

Nupoor Kansara is #SDLivingtheDream:
Fueling a passion for sustainable design

Monday, August 16, 2021

Name: Nupoor Kansara

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2020

University team: Illinois Institute of Technology

Current organization / employer: Baumann Consulting

Current role: Energy and commissioning engineer (more…)

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