It’s the 20th anniversary of the Solar Decathlon, and 133 teams from 107 collegiate institutions are off to the races as competition begins for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2022 Design Challenge and 2023 Build Challenge teams in 20 countries and 29 U.S. states.

Over its lifetime, the Solar Decathlon has challenged more than 25,000 students to create high-performance, efficient, and affordable buildings powered by renewables while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry. The Design and Build Challenges are composed of 10 contests. The Design Challenge is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition, while the Build Challenge is a multiyear design-build competition. 

“Now in its 20th year, the Solar Decathlon continues to be at the forefront of building the next generation of student leaders who can address climate change through the built environment,” said Holly Jamesen Carr, Director of Solar Decathlon in the Building Technologies Office. “As these students take on the toughest challenges in the built environment, their bright ideas and creativity will be crucial in the transition to a clean energy economy.”

2023 Build Challenge

The number of teams competing in the 2023 Build Challenge has nearly tripled from the 2020 Build Challenge to 32 teams, and 16 of the 37 participating collegiate institutions will send teams to the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge for the first time. Over the next two years, these teams will design and build energy-efficient, fully functional homes in their communities to demonstrate creative solutions for real-world issues in the building industry.

The 37 collegiate institutions participating in the 2023 Build Challenge are:

  • Abdelmalek Essaâdi University (جامعة عبدالمالك السعدي), Tétouan, Morocco
  • Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, Colorado
  • Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  • Bangkok University (มหาวิทยาลัยกรุงเทพ), Bangkok, Thailand
  • Barber-Scotia College, Concord, North Carolina
  • Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
  • Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington
  • Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
  • École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne, France
  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India
  • Kocaeli Üniversitesi, Kocaeli, Turkey
  • Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi
  • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Navajo Technical University, Crownpoint, New Mexico
  • NewSchool of Architecture & Design, San Diego, California
  • Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • San José State University, San José, California
  • Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, Middletown, Pennsylvania
  • The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
  • Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Université Moulay Ismaïl (جامعة مولاي إسماعيل‎), Meknès, Morocco
  • University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California
  • University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
  • University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
  • University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
  • Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Woodbury University, Burbank, California

Build Challenge teams will present their designs at the Solar Decathlon Competition Event, April 24–26, 2022, for approval to move forward to the construction phase. Teams will complete construction by early 2023, exhibiting homes locally in their communities, and winning teams will be chosen in April 2023.

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The 2021 Build Challenge team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas earned third place for their entry “Mojave Bloom,” a design that created a healing space for military veterans. Photo by NREL

2022 Design Challenge

101 teams from 80 collegiate institutions have joined the 2022 Design Challenge. Cross-disciplinary teams will bring their residential or commercial building designs to the Semifinal Competition next February, followed by finalist project presentations at an expert-juried event held April 24–26, 2022.

The 80 collegiate institutions competing in the 2022 Design Challenge are:

  • Alexandria University (جامعة الإسكندرية), Alexandria, Egypt
  • Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  • Blackburn College, Carlinville, Illinois
  • Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California
  • Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, California
  • College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Escuela Especializada en Ingeniería ITCA-FEPADE, Santa Tecla, El Salvador
  • Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois
  • Jackson State University , Jackson, Mississippi
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
  • Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia
  • Kern Community College District, Bakersfield, California
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri
  • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Myongji University (명지대학교), Seoul, South Korea
  • Navajo Technical University, Crownpoint, New Mexico
  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn, New York
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
  • Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont
  • Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas
  • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
  • Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
  • Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario
  • Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, California
  • School of Planning and Architecture Delhi, New Delhi, India
  • Shiraz University (انشگاه شیراز), Shiraz, Iran
  • Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
  • Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • Tehran University of Art (دانشگاه هنر تهران‎)               , Tehran, Iran
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York City, New York
  • The Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
  • The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York
  • The University of Arizona, Tuscon, Arizona
  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas
  • The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
  • The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
  • Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Université de Carthage (جامعة قرطاج), Tunis, Tunisia
  • Université de Monastir (جامعة المنستير), Monastir, Tunisia
  • Université Mohammed V de Rabat (جامعة محمد الخامس), Rabat, Morocco
  • University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
  • University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  • University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
  • University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
  • University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire
  • University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
  • University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia
  • University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center, Vermont
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts
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Grand Winners of the 2021 Design Challenge in the Residential Division from Northwestern University. Photo by NREL

About EERE

The mission of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is to accelerate the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies and solutions to equitably transition America to net zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050, and ensure the clean energy economy benefits all Americans, creating good paying jobs for the American people—especially workers and communities impacted by the energy transition and those historically underserved by the energy system and overburdened by pollution.