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Solar Decathlon Blog - Design Challenge

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

Zach Berzolla is #SDLivingtheDream:
Using a Multidisciplinary Approach for Effective Building Design

Monday, December 14, 2020

For this edition of #SDLivingtheDream we learn about Zach Berzolla, a 2018 Middlebury College team alumnus. He shares with us the work he is doing at MIT, along with key concepts that he has learned for successful building design, from Solar Decathlon. How about that for a doer designer!

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Name: Zach Berzolla

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2018 Design Challenge

University team: Middlebury College

 Current organization / employer: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sustainable Design Lab

Current role: Research Assistant/ SMBT Student

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

I knew I was interested in zero energy buildings, but the Solar Decathlon cemented for me that I wanted to make this field my career. Furthermore,  as I started working with the multidisciplinary team I assembled for the Race to Zero, I realized the importance of an integrated design process. This was one of the reasons I ended up at the MIT Sustainable Design Lab for my master’s; the lab is multi-disciplinary and focused on tools and analyses that architects, engineers, and policy-makers can all understand.

 Describe a work outcome, building project or other achievement you are most proud of and how (if) it relates to your experience with Solar Decathlon.

At MIT, I have been working with other members of my lab to make urban building energy modeling tools accessible to every city so that they can make physics-backed decisions on how to meet their emissions reduction goals. Through Solar Decathlon trainings and collaborations, I learned the applied building physics that underlie every building upgrade strategy we propose to meet these emissions reduction goals.

Zach at VERMOD Homes, a project that he sought out, which was inspired by his Solar Decathlon work. He documented improvements to the factory process for their zero-energy manufactured homes.

Brett Horin is #SDLivingtheDream:
Seeing the Impacts in the Real World

Monday, November 16, 2020

This month in our #SDLivingtheDream series, you’ll meet Brett Horin, who competed with Illinois Tech in the 2018 Design Challenge and who has gone on to work in energy modeling in the architecture industry, fueled by his experience in the Solar Decathlon.

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Name: Brett Horin

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2018

University team: Illinois Institute of Technology

Current organization / employer: Lamar Johnson Collaborative/Clayco

Current role: Energy Modeler

(more…)

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!

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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.

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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…)

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.

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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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

Good Luck to the Design Challenge Finalist Teams!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Five weeks and counting! Our teams have been working hard, and we’re excited to announce this year’s finalist teams for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge.

(more…)

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