The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced winners of its Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge, comprising 10 contests, in which student teams design highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.

"We applaud these students who are integrating building science with great design to showcase the tremendous potential of these high performance buildings to save Americans on energy costs," said Steve Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). "Solar Decathlon Design Challenge brings student ingenuity together with DOE technical resources and industry leader perspectives to prepare students to unlock these savings in their future careers as architects, engineers, and other building professionals."

The Design Challenge was held at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, April 12–14, 2019. The winners are teams that best blend architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart energy production. Design Challenge Weekend brought together jurors, sponsors, and student teams for interim competitions of the Build Challenge and JUMP into STEM as well, other DOE building science competitions complimentary to the Design Challenge. The juror panels included leading high-performance home builders, architects, building science professionals, building product manufacturer experts, and research scientists.

Students from 45 finalist teams, representing 37 collegiate institutions across the United States and around the world, vied to be the Grand Winner.

Below are the winners of the Design Challenge:

Grand Winner

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, Virginia)

Suburban Single-Family Division

  • First place: United States Military Academy at West Point (West Point, New York)

Urban Single-Family Division

  • First place: Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement: Hampton University (Hampton, Virginia)

Attached Housing Division

  • First place: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, Virginia) 
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement: Miami University (Oxford, Ohio)

Mixed-Use Multifamily Division

  • First place: State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (Syracuse, New York) and Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York)
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement: University of Missouri-Columbia (Columbia, Missouri)

Elementary Schools Division

  • First place: Miami University (Oxford, Ohio)

Office Building Division

  • First place: Jefferson University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

The primary goals of the competition are to advance building science curricula in university programs across the country and inspire students to continue careers related to cutting edge high-performance building design.

The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) invests in research and development in sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency. Visit the Building Technologies Office website to learn more about EERE’s efforts to develop cost-effective, energy-saving solutions for new and existing buildings across the United States.