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Solar Decathlon Blog - Solar Decathlon

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

Weber State University Team Profile

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Net Zero Wildcats of Weber State University, hailing from Ogden, Utah, join us for our first TEAM PROFILE of the 2020 Solar Decathlon! Thanks for taking the time, folks, so let’s get right to the questions.

First, with a team name like that, I have to ask – do you have a mascot?
We do–Waldo the Wildcat!

We have to see a picture of this mascot…
Now, is this your first time participating in the Solar Decathlon?
This is the first time we have participated in the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge. We have previously competed twice in the Race to Zero competition [now called Solar Decathlon Design Challenge].

How many team members do you have right now?
We have had as many as 50 students work on the project, but the current team is comprised of 12 students.

A group photo of the WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY

What is the craziest major among your team members?
Bachelors of Integrated Studies.

I have no idea what that would include, but it sounds pretty interesting. Maybe we can follow up on that! Next, what kind of house are you building?
We’re building a Single Family home.

What inspired the design for your house?
The neighborhood it is in is primarily Craftsman and Bungalow, so we combined the architectural styles to create our version of a craftsman-bungalow.

The coronavirus situation is a worldwide health emergency. How is your team staying connected during COVID?
We stay connected by holding Zoom meetings and site visits with social distancing and face masks.

What will happen to your house once construction is complete?
The home will be sold at the appraised value. We are participating in Solar Decathlon as a Local Build project, so we were not planning to transport our home to the competition location. It was permanently constructed at 2807 Quincy Avenue in Ogden, Utah. The house will be as a private residence.

We are including a provision in the sale that they must allow us to view their electricity bill for a minimum of two years and allow us to make adjustments if the HVAC and solar systems if they are not performing as they were designed.

What other unique information should we know about your team and/or house?
Our website is full of awesome information and photos.

One cool thing is the collaboration that was undertaken on this home with the city, the Ogden Civic Action Network, the University, and our department. It was all funded by the university as a way to give back to the community as well as to provide real world experiences to students. We shifted our design from a duplex in Salt Lake City to this home in November. (The re-zoning was not going to be approved in time to start construction in January). Our team completed the home less than 6 months later!

www.weber.edu/solardecathlon

We’d like to thank the Weber State University team for being part of this event and for joining us to share how they are meeting this challenge. Come back soon for our next team profile!

Sol Haroon is #SDLivingtheDream:
Leading the Future Through Building-Design Efficiency and Renewable Energy Education!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Sol completed his BASc (Applied Science) at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and his MS at the Georgia Institute of Technology; he is currently pursuing (part-time) his MBA at the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech.

In the latest edition of our #SDLivingtheDream series, we introduce Sol Haroon. An alumnus of the 2018 Design Challenge, Sol pushes boundaries in the renewable energy and building design projects he leads, or contributes to as an engineer. Read on to find out more about Sol’s role in creating the largest Living Building in the Southeast!

…………………   

Name: Sol Haroon

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2018 Design Challenge

University team: Georgia Institute of Technology

Current organization / employer: United Renewables, also pursuing an MBA at Georgia Institute of Technology

Current role: Lead Engineer/Consulting Instructor

(more…)

Sean Copeland is #SDLivingtheDream:
Revolutionizing Energy-Efficient Commercial Building Through Design!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Meet 2017-2018 Design Challenge alumnus Sean Copeland. From Penn State to Solar Decathlon, this two-time SD veteran has always worked with a passion for building design and environmental preservation. With his current position at Arup, he is able to intersect the two through working on carbon-free building construction in Massachusetts. Learn more about how Sean puts his skills to the test toward the green-building industry.

…………………  

Name: Sean Copeland

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2017 and 2018

University team: Penn State University (2017 — Full Circle, 2018 — Ripple)

Current organization / employer: Arup

Current role: Graduate Sustainability Consultant

(more…)

Farah Naz Ahmad is #SDLivingTheDream:
Building Science Skills — and Communications, too!

Monday, July 13, 2020

For the latest in our #SDLivingTheDream series, you’ll meet a 2011 Build Challenge team member whose career has explored several angles of energy-efficient building: lighting retrofits, energy codes, and technical building standards for city government. And if you’ve ever done a search for Solar Decathlon content on social media, you’ve probably seen Farah’s posts — she is one of our biggest cheerleaders!

…………………

Name:  Farah Naz Ahmad

Year participated in Solar Decathlon:  2011

University team: The City College of New York (Team New York)

Current organization / employer:  New York City School Construction Authority

Current role:  Architect, Sustainable Design

(more…)

Apply for Solar Decathlon’s 2021 Design Challenge; Plan for 2023 Build Challenge!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is ready to see your innovative and creative building designs! Collegiate institutions may now apply for the 2021 Design Challenge. Applications are due by October 20, 2020. The 2021 Design Challenge Rules may be found in the newly released Solar Decathlon Competition Guide.

(more…)

Kyle Macht is #SDLivingTheDream:
Learning Evolves to Leadership

Monday, June 15, 2020

In this installment of our special series, #SDLivingTheDream, we hear from a self-described jack of all trades who evolved into a true leader with the help of experiences in the Solar Decathlon.

…………………

Name:  Kyle Macht

Years participated in Solar Decathlon:

2007: core team member

2009: team leader

2011: rules inspector

University team:  Penn State

Current organization / employer:   Macht Architecture

Current role:  Principal

(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…)

Amanda Kirkeby is #SDLivingTheDream:
From Solar Decathlon student team to event organizing team

Monday, May 18, 2020

Our #SDLivingTheDream series continues with a recent alum from the Design Challenge who actually went on to work behind the scenes with the event’s staff, including posting to our social media channels for last month’s completely virtual event.

Amanda Kirkeby working in the lab at NREL on Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) research, an alternative method of power distribution in buildings.

…………………

Name: Amanda Kirkeby

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2018 Design Challenge

University team: Middlebury Zero Energy School Team (Middlebury College)

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

Current role: Post-graduate intern with the Applied Engineering group (more…)

#SDLivingTheDream,
Rodrigo Castro:
The Use of Energy Performance as a Design Input

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A headshot of Rodrigo Castro

We’re continuing our special series to highlight alumni of both the Build Challenge and the Design Challenge of Solar Decathlon, and how their experiences with the event have shaped their careers and lives. This time on #SDLivingTheDream, it’s Rodrigo Castro.

…………………

Name: Rodrigo Castro, PhD

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2011

University team: Team Florida (University of Florida)

Current organization / employer: Bionova Ltd.

Current role: Senior LCA Expert

 

(more…)

Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Winners Showcase Efficient, Affordable, Innovative Buildings in Virtual Event

Monday, April 20, 2020

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge recognized and awarded two Grand Winners – one from the residential division and one from the commercial building division. The 2020 Design Challenge culminated in a virtual event, April 17-19, 2020.

(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…)

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Opens Nominations for the 2020 Richard King Award

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

A group of people holding a solar decathlon banner.

The Solar Decathlon teams cheer ahead of the start of competition at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, on October 3, 2013. (Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is accepting nominations for this year’s Richard King Award in two categories: Outstanding Faculty Advisor and Outstanding Student Alumna/Alumnus.

The Richard King Award honors the founder of the Solar Decathlon. After establishing the Solar Decathlon in 2000, Richard directed the competition until his retirement from the Department of Energy in 2015. This award was created in 2017 when it was first presented to honor Richard at the Solar Decathlon in 2017 in Denver, Colorado.

Awardees will be selected based on their contributions to the transition to a clean energy economy.

Learn more about eligibility criteria and nomination forms.

The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, April 24, 2020.

The Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The winners will be the teams that best blend architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart energy production.

Learn more about the Solar Decathlon.

#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…)

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…)

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