Collegiate Teams Target Net Zero At Solar Decathlon 2015

September 1, 2015

2005 Solar Decathalon entry from NYIT

2005 Solar Decathlon entry from NYIT

Sixteen collegiate teams from over 27 different schools will soon be vying for the ultimate in home energy efficiency.  The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon – America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy efficient, solar-powered houses – will open October 8, 2015 in Irvine, California.

Teams are already working on the construction of their homes, as they have to be shipped and erected in California in just a few weeks.  The Solar Decathlon Village will allow them to show off their handiwork and design prowess.  Most of the designs will be at or near net zero energy, with the offsets coming from on-site solar power generation.

The competition not only shows consumers how to save energy and money with affordable clean energy products available today, like solar panels and energy-efficient lighting, but also gives these aspiring engineers, architects and builders the hands-on experience and unique training that will equip them for the clean energy workforce.

The teams will spend nine action-packed days in a sprint to rebuild their one-of-a-kind houses in time for opening day.  During the competition, the teams will compete in ten contests that gauge the performance, livability and affordability of the houses.  The projects represent diverse target markets, technological innovations, and design approaches.

Team houses will be open to the public free of charge at Orange County Great Park October 8-11 and October 15-18 from 11 am to 7 pm local time.  The overall winner will be announced October 17 at 10 am.  You can follow the contest on Facebook and Twitter.

GBE will highlight a few of these projects in the coming days.  So keep reading for more info!

Source and Photo: US Department of Energy, TimnCJ through a Creative Commons License



Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.