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Solar Decathlon 2023 Media Kit

a build challenge team photo

About the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® collegiate competition 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. Since 2002, Solar Decathlon has promoted student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry. The Solar Decathlon has challenged more than 25,000 students to create innovative, affordable, and highly energy-efficient buildings. The Solar Decathlon Competition Event, April 20–23 (Thursday through Sunday), is an opportunity to learn about the extraordinary accomplishments of the student teams. See below for media participation details. 

2023 Build Challenge

Teams that compete in the biennial Solar Decathlon Build Challenge work during a two-year period to design and construct high-performance, zero energy houses in their own communities. The Build Challenge will culminate at the hybrid Solar Decathlon Competition Event, April 20–23, 2023. Eleven finalist teams will present their solutions to panels of industry expert juries, and winners of the 10 individual contests will be announced. The overall winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 23, starting at approximately 10 a.m. EDT.

2023 Design Challenge

Teams competing in the annual Solar Decathlon Design Challenge complete their projects during one or two academic semesters. Participants prepare creative solutions for real-world challenges in the building industry. Finalists present their designs to a panel of industry expert jurors during the Solar Decathlon Competition Event, where they also learn from thought leaders and engage with a variety of organizations about energy careers. Winning teams will also be recognized at the Awards Ceremony on April 23. Winning project presentations will be published on the website.

Solar Decathlon Virtual Village – Coming Soon

While the teams and their zero energy homes are scattered around the world, visitors can experience the Build Challenge homes in the Solar Decathlon Virtual Village, which opens on April 21, 2023.

Industry partners, schools, future collegiate teams, and the interested public are invited to explore the virtual village at no cost to learn about the student teams’ high-performance, low-carbon homes; explore innovative building technologies; and discover the impact of these homes on their communities.  A toolkit will be available to help teachers bring students to the virtual village for unique educational activities.

Additional details will be available on the Solar Decathlon website.

General Media Access

The Competition Event is not open to the public, but the Juried Presentations and Awards Ceremony are open to the media on a space available basis. Members of the media interested in attending the Solar Decathlon jury presentations and/or awards April 20-23 should email to register.


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2023 Design Challenge Trophies

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2023 Build Team working on their house

Aerial view of a 2023 Build Challenge home

Aerial view of a 2023 Build Challenge home

More photos can be found on the Solar Decathlon Flickr page.


Solar Decathlon Logo

More logo options and guidance can be found in the Solar Decathlon Branding Guide.

Additional Resources

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Latest News – Press releases, blog posts, etc.

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Solar Decathlon History

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Build Teams page with links to individual team pages and Construction Tracker.

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List of Design Team finalists

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B-Roll: <Coming soon>

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YouTube – Includes 20th anniversary competition event highlights.

Media Contacts

Maria Payan
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
EERE Communications | Solar Decathlon Media Relations; 786-564-6323

Jono Sher
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
EERE Communications | Solar Decathlon Media Relations; 720-356-1623

Kelly MacGregor
Solar Decathlon Communications Lead
National Renewable Energy Laboratory; 253-254-2663

Social Media

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