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Photo of two women switching out team name plates on a large sign labeled "Leaderboard."

Solar Decathlon organizers update the solar village leaderboard with the latest standings.

Solar Decathlon 2009

Contests and Scoring

Just like the well-known Olympic decathlon, the Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests that center on all of the ways in which we use energy in our daily lives. Here you'll find information about the 10 contests and how they were scored.

To compete, the teams must design and build energy-efficient homes that are powered exclusively by the sun. The houses are required to:

  • Be attractive and easy to live in
  • Maintain comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions
  • Feature appealing and adequate lighting
  • Supply energy to household appliances for cooking and cleaning
  • Power home electronics
  • Provide hot water
  • Balance energy production and consumption.

Some contests are scored by measuring performance, such as meeting certain temperature requirements. Other contests require the successful completion of tasks—which might simulate real-life activities such as cooking, washing dishes, and doing laundry. Still other contests are scored by jurors who are experts in architecture, engineering, and other appropriate fields. The jurors evaluate features that measurements cannot, such as aesthetics and design inspiration.

The 10 Solar Decathlon Contests in 2009 were: