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Solar Decathlon Competition

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The Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The combined competition features two tracks, the Design Challenge and the Build Challenge.

Through the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, collegiate teams design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The goals of the Solar Decathlon are to:

  • Provide participating students with unique training that prepares them for the clean energy workforce.
  • Educate students and the public about the latest technologies and materials in energy efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions, electric vehicles, and high-performance buildings.
  • Demonstrate to the public the comfort and savings of buildings that combine energy efficient construction, systems, and innovative design with onsite renewable energy production.

For more information about the challenges, including a full list of teams competing, please visit www.solardecathlon.gov

ASHRAE is an affiliate sponsor of the 2020 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and we have seven student branches participating in the 2020 Build Challenge. If you're interested in being a judge/juror, or would like to learn about getting involved locally, contact students@ashrae.org

Important Dates

Design Challenge

July 2019: Solar Decathlon Competition Guide is released, and the team application opens.
November 5, 2019: All Design Challenge participating teams must complete the team application.
September 2019 to March 2020: Webinars and building science trainings are offered.
April 17-19, 2020: Finalist teams complete their project submissions and compete with presentations to industry leaders.

Build Challenge

July 2018: The 2020 Build Challenge Rules released, and the team application available on the website.
December 2018: Deadline for teams to complete their team application online.
February 2019: Deadline for teams to complete the Schematic Design Summary and complete the building science training.
April 12–14, 2019: Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Weekend
May/June 2020: Solar Decathlon Community Exhibition Month
June 27–July 5, 2020: Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Event: Competing teams exhibit and compete at the Build Challenge Event, as part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. National Showcase Division teams bring their complete, tourable house module, which will be toured by juries.
February 2021: Team Showcase at National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builder’s Show.