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Solar Decathlon Blog - Build Challenge

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

Achieving Zero Energy While Meeting Unique Homeowner Needs

Thursday, March 4, 2021

A 100% clean energy economy capable of battling climate change will include a strong foundation of zero energy homes—a house that can produce as much energy as it uses. Such homes don’t have to be bare-bones and uncomfortable. Quite the opposite, in fact. Student-led teams competing in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Build Challenge are proving they can blend architectural design and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart energy production, all with the “comforts of home.”

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Save the Date for the Solar Decathlon Competition Event; Virtual Format Opens Participation to Broader Audience

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Save the Date for the Solar Decathlon Competition Event; Virtual Format Opens Participation to Broader Audience

Mark your calendars! The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® will host its rescheduled 2020 Build Challenge and 2021 Design Challenge competition events virtually, from Thursday, April 15 to Sunday, April 18, 2021. This virtual event will feature dynamic team presentations, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities for all collegiate teams in the United States and around the world.

The Build Challenge competition event was previously scheduled to be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in summer of 2020. The annual Design Challenge competition event is traditionally hosted by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, Colorado.

“While we will miss celebrating the excitement and passion in person, we want to ensure the teams are still given an opportunity to complete this unparalleled and valuable experience,” said Holly Jamesen Carr, director of Solar Decathlon for the Building Technologies Office. “We have seen how this competition has positively impacted the trajectory of many careers and elevated the importance of building efficiency.”

Read more

Heather Greene is #SDLivingtheDream:
A Project Engineer Who is Hands-On, Too

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A lot of hard work goes into putting up a large commercial building, as Heather Greene has learned! In this edition of #SDLivingtheDream, we hear about Heather’s path from the 2015 Solar Decathlon to a rewarding career as a project engineer.

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Name: Heather Greene

Year participated: 2015

University team: Casa Del Sol (Orange County)

Current organization/employer: Hensel Phelps

Current role: Project Engineer

(more…)

David Gavin is #SDLivingtheDream:
Designing for a Cause!

Monday, October 19, 2020

In this edition of our #SDLivingtheDream series, we introduce you to David Gavin, a Team UMD Solar Decathlon alumnus who focuses on sustainable design in his everyday work. Read on to find out how David is using his building-design skills to help domestic violence victims.

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Name: David Gavin

Year participated in Solar Decathlon:  2011

University team: University of Maryland

Current organization/employer: Quinn Evans Architects

Current role: Architect / Associate / Sustainability Leadership Team

(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!

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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…)

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.

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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…)

#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.

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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…)

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 Solar Decathlon 2020 Build Challenge teams!

Monday, January 28, 2019

These collegiate institutions represent a mix of new and returning teams that have participated in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® in previous years. Below are the teams participating in the Build Challenge.

(more…)

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