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Solar Decathlon Blog - Events

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

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…)

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…)

Rally Your Classmates and Apply to Compete in Solar Decathlon; October Deadline for Design and Build Challenges

Friday, July 16, 2021

Passionate about sustainable buildings? Ready to test the skills you’ve learned in the classroom on a real-life project? The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is ready for your innovative ideas and creativity! 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 Solar Decathlon Competition Guide, 2022 Design Challenge Rules, and 2023 Build Challenge Rules are now available to the public. All collegiate institutions are encouraged to apply to participate in the next edition of Solar Decathlon by October 26, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Team Applications can be submitted for both the Design Challenge and the Build Challenge.

Read more

Department of Energy Kicks Off Solar Decathlon Competition Event and Announces Richard King Award Winners

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Today, Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman officially kicked off the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Competition Event during the Solar Decathlon Opening Celebration.

Students from 72 teams, representing 66 collegiate institutions and 12 countries, are competing for top prizes in the 2020 Build Challenge and 2021 Design Challenge during the Competition Event.

“I was deeply inspired by the ingenuity and perseverance of our Solar Decathlon teams, who have designed and constructed buildings that embody the spirit of innovation we need for a clean energy future,” said Acting Assistant Secretary Speakes-Backman. “These homes are a testament to the incredible skill and resolve of the next generation of building professionals, who share a sense of urgency in tackling the climate crisis and building more sustainable communities.” (more…)

Department of Energy Announces Postponement of Solar Decathlon 2020 Summer Events and Webinar on May 27

Friday, May 22, 2020

The grand winner trophies

Gain a once-in-a-lifetime experience by applying for the next Solar Decathlon Design Challenge and Build Challenge. Photo by Vern Slocum/NREL.

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® postponed its 2020 Solar Decathlon Build Challenge from June 2020 to April 16-18, 2021. The event, originally scheduled to be part of the 2020 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, will move from the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, where it will coincide with the Solar Decathlon 2021 Design Challenge competition. The 2022 Build Challenge will take place in 2023. (more…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

Save the Date for the 2020 Design Challenge

Monday, March 18, 2019

Love designing high-performance buildings? Ready for the experience of a lifetime? The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge is ready for you.

Collegiate institutions can start preparing for the 2020 Design Challenge, planned for April 17–19, 2020, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

(more…)

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