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Archive for March, 2021

Visit Solar Decathlon’s First Virtual Village to Tour One-of-a-Kind, High-Performance Homes Online!

Monday, March 29, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy is excited to announce the opening of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Virtual Village – now live and open to the public!

The Virtual Village will showcase zero energy homes designed and constructed around the world by Solar Decathlon 2020 Build Challenge teams. Industry partners, schools, future collegiate teams, and the interested public are invited to participate in no-cost, virtual tours of the homes, hosted by participating teams.

Visitors can experience these one-of-a-kind homes in this first-ever Solar Decathlon Virtual Village “located” on the National Mall, where the first Solar Decathlon event was launched in 2002.

Visitors can also participate in a Solar Decathlon home scavenger hunt, and a toolkit will be available to help teachers bring students to the Virtual Village for unique educational activities.

Live virtual home tours with student teams will occur at the following times:

  • Apr 12, 2021, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Eastern Time – General Public
  • Apr 13, 2021, 1-3 p.m. Eastern Time – Teachers and Students
  • Apr 13, 2021, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Eastern Time – Industry Professionals

The 2020 Build Challenge Competition Event and public exhibition were previously scheduled to take place on the National Mall in the summer of 2020, with each team’s house included in the constructed village for public tours. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 2020 event was postponed and transitioned to a local build event, with teams constructing their homes in their local communities where they will remain after the competition. Moving forward, Solar Decathlon Build Challenge teams will follow this local build model, with the next competition scheduled for 2023.

About the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy 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 Design Challenge is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition, while the Build Challenge is a two-year design-build competition.

Funded by the Building Technologies Office, Solar Decathlon continues to advance the design of high-performance, energy efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry. Since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has challenged more than 20,000 students to push the envelope in creating innovative, affordable, and highly energy efficient buildings.

Buildings account for 74% of electricity use, 39% of total energy use, and 35% of carbon emissions in the United States. Solar Decathlon supports a key strategy for tackling climate challenges—developing a workforce well equipped to design and construct a low-carbon building stock and to deliver an equitable clean energy future.

Additional details are available on the Solar Decathlon website.

Sixty-Three Finalist Teams Vying to Be One of Two Grand Winners of Solar Decathlon 2021 Design Challenge

Monday, March 22, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® announced the 63 Finalist Teams of the 2021 Design Challenge. These teams submitted detailed Design Proposals and were selected from the initial 103 Participating Teams, representing 75 collegiate institutions.

The Finalist Teams, representing 57 collegiate institutions, are competing in one of seven Divisions: Suburban Single-Family Housing, Urban Single-Family Housing, Attached Housing, Mixed-Use Multifamily Building, Elementary School, Office Building, and Retail Building.


Inspiring Tomorrow’s Buildings Leaders: Solar Decathlon Launches 2022 and 2023 Editions

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Mark your calendars for the next editions of Solar Decathlon! Today, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® announced the launch of the 2022 Design Challenge and 2023 Build Challenge.

The 2022 Design Challenge is an annual design competition which encourages teams to develop zero energy residential and commercial designs while working with design partners to address real-world needs. Student teams will present their projects to jurors in Spring 2022 at a competition hosted by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

The 2023 Build Challenge is a two-year design-build competition in which collegiate teams construct zero energy homes in their own communities. After presenting their preliminary designs and progress, finalist teams will be selected at the 2022 spring event. Finalists will then go back to their communities to build their homes, undertake required measurements, and ultimately compete in a juried event in 2023.


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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