Are you interested in designing and building high-performance homes in your local community that tackle climate change and promote environmental justice? Do you love the thrill of competing with and getting to know top students across the country and around the world? If so, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is right for you!
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 10 Contests of the Solar Decathlon address building science, energy efficiency, occupant experience, community needs, affordability, resilience, and embodied environmental impact.
Teams competing in the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge work during a two-year period to design, build, and operate their houses in their own region. The 2023 Build Challenge consists of a design and construction phase. First, the teams design their homes through April 2022. The top 20 teams who are approved to proceed will complete construction activities through April 2023 with the support of $50,000 of prize funding.
During the Competition Event, teams will be evaluated on how well they meet the nation’s rapidly evolving demand for new and retrofit homes that are innovative, cost-effective, net zero energy, resilient, grid-interconnected, and efficient that respond to targeted community needs. Each home will be evaluated based on 10 Contests, some juried and some measured locally on the building site. Partnerships with building owners are also encouraged to develop energy-positive designs for real building projects across the country and around the world.
Total Cash Prize Pool
Selected teams from the April 2022 Competition Event will receive $50,000 in prize funding to use towards the construction of their home.
Winning teams are recognized at an awards banquet with hand-crafted trophies, and winning project presentations are published on the Solar Decathlon website. The competition and winners are promoted through a variety of media outreach efforts, which provide participants and their collegiate institutions an opportunity for international exposure. Collegiate institutions that participate in the Solar Decathlon are recognized as leaders who are producing career-ready professionals with cutting-edge skills.