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Solar Decathlon Competition

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The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient, innovative, low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy. The combined competition features two tracks, the annual Design Challenge and the biennial Build Challenge. Solar Decathlon focuses on two critical goals: to integrate high-performance building design and construction education into degree programs, and to inspire the public and industry through zero energy or energy-positive innovations implemented by student teams.

Design Challenge: Student teams create new or retrofit residential and commercial building designs. Designs are evaluated on how well they meet the nation’s rapidly evolving demand for zero energy buildings. This challenge takes place over one or two academic semesters.

Build Challenge: Student teams design, build or renovate, showcase, and operate fully functional houses in their local communities. This challenge takes place over two calendar years.

For more information about the challenges, including a full list of competing teams, please visit www.solardecathlon.gov. If you are interested in connecting with one of the student teams, being a judge/juror, or would like to learn how to get involved locally, please contact solardecathlon@nrel.gov.

ASHRAE is an affiliate partner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.