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Solar Decathlon Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Blog provides regular updates about Solar Decathlon news and events.

#SDLivingTheDream,
Dylan Weber Callahan:
Learning the Importance of Collaboration

January 14, 2020


Today we begin a new series on the Solar Decathlon blog, #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. First up, we talk to Dylan Weber Callahan, who competed in the most recent Build Challenge and has already parlayed that experience into a great design job with HOK.

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Name: Dylan Weber Callahan

Year participated in Solar Decathlon: Solar Decathlon 2017 in Denver, CO

University team: Washington University in St. Louis

Current organization / employer: HOK (New York office)

Current role: Design Professional

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First-Ever Solar Decathlon Africa Shines With Passion and Progress

November 15, 2019

By Stacy Hunt

In late September, I found myself in a futuristic eco-village outside of Ben Guerir, Morocco, six time zones away from home. As a juror for the Communications and Social Awareness Contest in the first-ever Solar Decathlon Africa, I had some tough decisions ahead of me.

This wasn’t my first rodeo. I was a juror for Solar Decathlon Europe in Szentendre, Hungary; I’ve attended several U.S. competitions, and I have worked with the U.S. organizing team since 2013.

But as soon as I stepped onto the site, Solar Decathlon Africa felt different. The energy of the students, and their region-, craft-, and culture-specific solutions were somehow more robust than what I’ve seen on the whole in other Solar Decathlons.

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Announcing the Solar Decathlon 2020 Design Challenge Teams!

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.

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Two Weeks Left to Apply for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Design Challenge!

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 »

Solar Decathlon Africa: Cool Oasis of Creativity in the Desert

October 4, 2019

By Holly Carr

It took three weeks for a Solar Village to rise in the desert of Morocco. Benguerir, a town of about 100,000 people one hour north of Marrakesh, is home to the first ever Solar Decathlon Africa. Across the hot, red landscape, university students in bright yellow vests rushed here and there, pounding hammers and running saws to put finishing touches to the structures — 18 homes powered by renewable energy.

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One Month Remaining to Apply for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Design Challenge

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!

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.

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Congratulations to the 2019 Winners!

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.

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Save the Date for the 2020 Design Challenge

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.

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Good Luck to the Design Challenge Finalist Teams!

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.

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Congratulations to the Solar Decathlon 2020 Build Challenge teams!

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.

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Livin’ the Dream at Solar Decathlon Middle East

December 7, 2018

By Joan Glickman,
DOE Building Technologies Office

UAE in November … A mix of other-worldly modernism, stunning mosques, an impressive Louvre, beautiful beaches and more … standing side by side in the desert heat, where 90°F is considered mild. And, amidst all this, about 50 miles outside of Dubai, 15 energy- and water-efficient homes, with state-of-the-art technologies, designed and constructed by hundreds of students from across the globe. Sounds like a dream, but it was actually a reality.

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Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Prize Amounts Announced

November 1, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is excited to announce the prize amounts for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Build Challenge. Solar Decathlon Build Challenge teams work during a two-year period to design and build complete houses that incorporate state-of-the-art energy and building design practices and technologies. DOE will select up to 12 finalist teams across the Local Build and National Showcase Divisions. All finalist teams that meet Solar Decathlon Build Challenge requirements will receive prize funds to assist in defraying their costs. Funds will be provided at various points during the two-year period pending completion of specific deliverables and requirements.

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Apply Today! Solar Decathlon Application Deadline, November 6, 2018

September 25, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon continues to “push the envelope” on the design of the most high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while leveraging opportunities to showcase student innovation and STEM education, as well as to foster workforce development opportunities.

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Guidance to Collegiate Institutions on Participating in the Build Challenge

September 13, 2018

Participating as a team in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an intense but rewarding endeavor. What makes the Solar Decathlon unique is the interdisciplinary nature of the competition, requiring student and faculty involvement from multiple disciplines and departments, and the real-life experience it provides to students, preparing them for jobs after graduation. At the same time, this requires a lot of support and cooperation from the collegiate institution.

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