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.
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.