Welcome to the Race to Zero!

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Watch to learn more about the Race to Zero Student Design Competition.

Video courtesy of the Department of Energy

Photos by Ellen Jaskol, NREL

DOE is excited to join its two student building design competitions, Solar Decathlon and Race to Zero, into one national Solar Decathlon competition. 

The new competition will feature two Challenges: the Design Challenge (formerly Race to Zero) and the Build Challenge. Visit the Solar Decathlon website to learn the details. The Solar Decathlon Design Challenge is annual, and the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge is biennial. 

Check out the latest on the Solar Decathlon website!

This is an exciting time—a time when Zero Energy Ready Buildings have become readily achievable and cost-effective. By definition, these high-performance buildings are so energy-efficient that renewable power can offset most or all the annual energy consumption.

The Race to Zero inspired collegiate students to become the next generation of building science professionals through a design challenge for zero energy ready buildings.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build high performance and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. 

What is the Race to Zero?

The Race to Zero was an annual competition from 2014-2018, open to students and faculty from any interested collegiate institution. The competition challenged collegiate teams to apply sound building science principles to create cost-effective, market-ready designs. Past Race to Zero resources will be available for reference to the presentations and project summaries from the past winning teams.