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Two people being interviewed in front of a new home build

Build Challenge

Teams competing in the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge work during a two-year period to design, build, and operate their houses in their own region, with student work culminating in April 2023 with the Solar Decathlon Competition Event at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Participants design and build complete, functional houses in their communities to demonstrate creative solutions for real-world issues in the building industry. Teams will compete to earn points by operating their house successfully, and by showcasing the excellence of their solutions to industry expert jurors.

Through local exhibitions, teams are able to explain the importance of their innovations and solutions to a broad public audience. The competition and winners are promoted through a variety of media outreach efforts, which provide participants and their collegiate institutions an opportunity for national exposure.

Collegiate institutions that participate in the challenge are recognized as leaders in cultivating career-ready, young professionals with cutting-edge skills. Industry partners who collaborate with teams gain national and local recognition and have the opportunity to interact with knowledgeable future design and construction professionals.

Yes, I’m interested

Summary of Important Dates

Complete details will be available in the 2023 Build Challenge Rules. Below are the following key milestones for the 2023 Build Challenge.

  • July 2021: The 2023 Build Challenge Rules released, and Team Applications open.
  • October 2021: All Build Challenge participating teams must complete the Team Application. All teams with a complete Team Application are accepted to participate.
  • Fall 2021 to Spring 2022: Webinars and building science trainings are offered.
  • April 2022: Teams participate in Solar Decathlon Competition Event to determine which teams receive prize funding and an approval-to-proceed to the next phase.
  • Spring 2023: Solar Decathlon Community Exhibitions during which competing teams exhibit their as-built houses to their local communities, offering tours of the house, hosting educational activities, and verifying functionality as part of the measured contest activities.
  • April 2023: Solar Decathlon Competition Event with teams presenting to juries. Winners will be announced.

2023 Build Challenge Discovery Session

Date: May 4, 2021