The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges 20 university teams, through a series of 10 contests, to demonstrate inventive clean-energy solutions by building solar-powered houses that feature cost-effective, energy-efficient construction and incorporate energy-saving appliances and renewable energy systems.
Every two years since 2002, Solar Decathlon has showcased a working display of energy innovation in action. Solar Decathlon has grown into one of the most highly anticipated design competitions ever held, attracting over 300,000 visitors to the National Mall in 2011.
The competition is an intensely challenging exercise that provides the participants with hands-on training, fosters inter-disciplinary collaboration, inspires innovation and research, and educates the public about the many benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Solar Decathlon 2011 took place in Washington DC on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park, which is nestled amongst national landmarks and memorials, and is just a stone’s throw from the White House.
The competition ran from September 13th to October 7th 2011. The houses were open to the public from September 23rd to October 2nd.
Read more about the Solar Decathlon on the official website.
Like the Olympic decathlon, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests. These contests are designed to gauge how well the houses perform and how liveable and affordable they are. Each contest is worth a maximum of 100 points, for a total of 1,000 points.
Teams can earn points three ways:
Teams complete household tasks such as cooking, washing dishes, and doing laundry.
Team houses perform to specified criteria, such as maintaining a comfortable (71°–76°F) indoor temperature range.
Jurors who are experts in their field (such as architecture, engineering, and communications) award points for features that cannot be measured (such as aesthetics and design inspiration).
Contests based on task completion or monitored performance are called measured contests; contests based on jury evaluation are call juried contests.
Twenty University teams from around the world were chosen to compete in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011.
Our entry was the first from the Southern Hemisphere to compete in the Solar Decathlon. We competed against teams from China, Belgium, Canada and the U.S.
• Appalachian State
• Florida Int’l
• Middlebury College
• The Ohio State University
• Parsons NS Stevens
• Purdue University
• Team Belgium
• Team Canada
• Team China
• Team Florida
• Team Massachusetts
• Team New Jersey
• Team New York
• Tidewater Virginia