Mark your calendars! The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® will host its rescheduled 2020 Build Challenge and 2021 Design Challenge competition events virtually, from Thursday, April 15 to Sunday, April 18, 2021. This virtual event will feature dynamic team presentations, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities for all collegiate teams in the United States and around the world.

The Build Challenge competition event was previously scheduled to be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in summer of 2020. The annual Design Challenge competition event is traditionally hosted by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, Colorado.

“While we will miss celebrating the excitement and passion in person, we want to ensure the teams are still given an opportunity to complete this unparalleled and valuable experience,” said Holly Jamesen Carr, director of Solar Decathlon for the Building Technologies Office. “We have seen how this competition has positively impacted the trajectory of many careers and elevated the importance of building efficiency.”

Student teams will present their projects to jurors during the Competition Event, April 15-18, 2021, which will include activities for the collegiate teams, jurors, and sponsors that showcase the dedication, passion, and creativity of each project. Final presentations will be shared, and winners will be announced publicly.

In addition, organizers will integrate a Solar Decathlon Day to let interested members of the public participate, as they have historically with past Build Challenges since 2002. Because a virtual event can extend participation beyond those in the Denver area, various activities will be open to those who have an interest in high-performance homes, innovative building technologies, energy efficiency best practices, or related careers.

About the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The Design Challenge is a one-to-two-semester, design-only competition, while the Build Challenge is a multiyear design-build competition. The most successful teams will blend architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market relevance, building efficiency, and smart energy production.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon continues to push the envelope on the design of high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities.

Additional details are available on the Solar Decathlon website.