Solar decathlon in a nutshell

The Solar Decathlon Europe is an international competition that challenges collegiate teams to design and build houses powered exclusively by the renewable energy sources: the main aim of competition is to promote of architectural solutions related to solar energy, renewable energies and innovative technologies through the houses built by the university teams.

By today Solar Decathlon has become the world’s most significant architectural innovation competition organized between universities. Initiated by the Department of Energy (DoE) of the US Government, the first Solar Decathlon competition was held in Washington in 2002. The basic goal of the initiative is to foster the cooperation of university researchers and developers with industrial partners and sponsors, building on the creativity and innovative abilities of young people, and design such innovative and energy efficient houses that may be showcase homes demonstrating sustainability, based on the use of renewable energy and the conscientious use of resources. The competitors not only make plans during the competition but they also construct the selected entries at the venue of the finals.

University teams apply to Solar Decathlon from all around the world, regardless of whether the competition is held in Europe or on another continent, and the entrants who will have the opportunity to participate in the competition with their designs are selected from the submitted entries based on the decision of an international professional selection committee. Each qualifying Team, consisting of university students and often their mentors, first model construct the designed showcase house model in its own campus and then the completed building parts are transported to the venue of the competition, where its final assembly takes place.

The work performed by the participants of the competition is evaluated on the basis of a wide-ranging system of criteria, where aspects of architecture, sustainability, energy efficiency, construction, aesthetics, awareness raising activities and results as well as market potential are considered.