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Solar Decathlon Blog - Teams

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

DOE Announces Solar Decathlon 2024 Design Challenge Winners

Monday, April 22, 2024

The team from The University of Arizona earned the Grand Winner award in the 2024 Design Challenge.

The team from The University of Arizona earned the Grand Winner award in the 2024 Design Challenge.

Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon® DOE’s longest-running student competition, announced the winners of the 2024 Design Challenge.

The Solar Decathlon challenges the next generation of building professionals to design high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy, promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry. The Solar Decathlon’s Design Challenge is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition.

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40 Collegiate Teams Advance to Solar Decathlon 2024 Design Challenge

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Forty teams from 37 collegiate institutions are advancing to the final stage of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon® 2024 Design Challenge based on their cutting-edge, zero energy building designs.

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Gracelyn Attablayo is #SDLivingTheDream: Studying the evolving complexity of building design

Monday, July 18, 2022

Name: Gracelyn Attablayo

Year participated in Solar Decathlon : 2020

University team : Illinois Institute of Technology

Organization/ employer: Socotec Inc.

Role: Building Envelope Inspector

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Jeremy Blum is #SDLivingTheDream: Igniting an Interest in Carpentry and More

Monday, June 13, 2022

Name: Jeremy Blum

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: 2009 Solar Decathlon

University Team: Cornell University Silo House Team

Current Employer: Shaper – https://shapertools.com

Current Role: Senior Vice-President of Engineering and Principal Electrical Engineer

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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.

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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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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

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Mojave Bloom: A Therapeutic Home for Post-Traumatic Healing

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Architects are really good at a lot of things, but one quality in particular stands out to Eric Weber, an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). He believes that once architects understand the nature of a challenge, they excel at developing thoughtful responses to it. Maybe that is why Weber’s Design + Build students chose to create a home that supports veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for their U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2020 Build Challenge entry, Mojave Bloom.

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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 (more…)

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

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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

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Mentoring 101: How to Teach College Students What Textbooks Can’t

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Most colleges don’t offer a course that can teach you how to navigate the real world. Sure, classroom learning provides students with a solid technical foundation in their chosen areas of study, but essential professional skills like negotiation, compromise, and flexibility aren’t covered in most textbooks. For the answers to life’s most challenging questions, you need a mentor.

If there were degrees in Real Life Experience, a group of more than 30 students from Weber State University would earn top honors. These students managed to design and build a six-bedroom, 2,450 square foot home that is powered entirely by the sun and can go off grid for three days—or longer—as part of their Solar Decathlon 2020 senior project.

Jeremy Farner, an associate professor of building design and construction at Weber State University, served as the team’s faculty advisor on the project. Now that he has successfully advised two Solar Decathlon Design Challenge competitions and Weber State’s most recent Build Challenge, there is no doubt he has what it takes to mentor the next generation of green building professionals.

Several students from the WSU build team

Jeremy Farner, fourth from right, stands with students on the Solar Decathlon 2020 Build project team representing the Building Design & Construction, Interior Design, and Construction Management programs in February 2020. Photo by Weber State University

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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

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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

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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

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