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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 Design Challenge and the 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.

Build Challenge: Student teams design, build or renovate, showcase, and operate fully functional houses in their local communities.

For more information about the challenges, including a full list of competing teams and current challenge timelines, please visit 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

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