Solar Decathlon Competition | Build Challenge 2023

November 16, 2022
Department of Energy Solar DecathlonBuild challange 2023

What is The Solar Decathlon, and why is it important?

The Solar Decathlon is a competition between colleges that focuses on building professionals designing environmentally friendly buildings powered by renewable energy sources. The Design Challenge requires one to two semesters, while the Build challenge lasts two years due its design-build nature; however, there are some exceptions if you're accepted into college programs like HSCI's Community Building Institute, where it only takes six months! There are also options to transition between the design and build challenges.

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Why does the solar decathlon matter?

The department of energy solar decathlon is an international solar-powered home design competition that challenges teams of students to build and operate solar-powered houses that are both energy-efficient and aesthetically pleasing. The contest provides a unique opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in the design and construction of solar-powered homes, as well as learn about the potential of clean energy technologies. Furthermore, the solar decathlon helps to create a new generation of workers with the skills and knowledge necessary to drive the transition to a clean energy future. As solar energy becomes increasingly affordable and accessible, it is crucial that we have a clean energy workforce equipped to design, build, and maintain solar-powered homes and businesses. The solar decathlon is helping to train this workforce, making it an essential competition for both the present and the future.

How much funding goes into it, and is there a prize?

In 2017, for the first time, teams were eligible for cash prizes. At the end of the competition, the net score was used to determine each team's ranking and eligibility for prize money as follows:

  • 1st: $300,000

  • 2nd: $225,000

  • 3rd: $150,000

  • 4th: $125,000

  • 5th plus: $100,000.

Each Solar Decathlon contest was worth a maximum of 100 points, for a potential competition total of 1,000 points.

Solar decathlon and its effect on future economies

The Build Challenge is the solar decathlon in which teams from across the world compete to build the most efficient and attractive solar-powered home. The homes are judged on a variety of factors, including energy usage, water usage, and design. The Build Challenge is an important project because it helps to advance the technology of solar-powered homes and raises awareness about the potential of renewable energy. The Build Challenge also has a positive effect on the economy, as it creates jobs for those involved in the construction and operation of the homes. In addition, the Build Challenge encourages competition among countries to develop innovative solar-powered homes. As a result, the Build Challenge is an important event that has a positive impact on future economies and renewable energy.

Where was the 2022 Solar Decathlon, and who won?

2022 Design Challenge Grand Winners - Georgia Tech

The Solar Decathlon Competition Event was held in Golden, Colorado from April 22–24, 2022. During the event, the Design Challenge Division and Grand Winners were announced.

55 teams of students from 38 different colleges competed in the 2022 Design Challenge. They could compete in one of six divisions, which were: New Housing, Retrofit Housing, Attached Housing, Multifamily Building, Office Building, or Education Building.

How many Solar Decathlon competitions are there?

The DOE Solar Decathlon, like the Olympic decathlon, measures a team's success across 10 contests. We consider factors such as cost-effective design; innovation balanced with market potential; water and energy efficiency, energy production and time-of-use energy consumption; and communications strategies. Each contest is worth up to 100 points for a total possible score of 1,000 points. Points are gained through task completion, performance monitoring, and jury evaluation. TheSolar Decathloncontests may evolve after each competition in order to reflect participant feedback as well as changes in the markets or goals set by DOE.



New Housing Division

Retrofit Housing Division

Attached Housing Division

Multifamily Building Division

Office Building Division

Education Building Division

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