U.S. Dept. of Energy
Doe Decath

Collegiate teams approach DOE Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge finals

Feb. 28, 2023
Fifty-seven teams from 63 collegiate institutions have earned a spot in the final stage of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge.
U.S. Dept. of Energy
Doe Decath

The building technologies unit of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy announced that fifty-seven teams from 63 collegiate institutions have earned a spot in the final stage of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2023 Design Challenge.

Rachel Romero, Design Challenge competition manager, commented, “Solar Decathlon has pioneered energy efficient building designs for more than two decades; this year’s finalist teams showed there is always room to push the envelope on zero energy buildings."

Collegiate students competing in the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge work in multidisciplinary teams to create innovative and high-performance building designs that address real-world issues related to climate change, affordability, and environmental justice.

Teams collaborate on a residential or commercial design project for one or two academic semesters, with the competition culminating each April at the Solar Decathlon Competition Event. The event provides an opportunity for teams to present their designs to expert jurors, network and build connections with industry professionals, and share ideas with other Decathletes from around the world.

Finalist teams were selected at the Semifinal Competition Event, held virtually February 24–25, 2023.

Teams presented their zero energy building designs to a panel of industry experts and finalists were selected based on their innovations, technical plans, and the quality of their presentations.

Per a press release, the 2023 Design Challenge finalist teams by division include:

New Housing Division

  • Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina
  • Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
  • Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
  • Monash University, Clayton, Australia
  • The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • The University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire
  • University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts

Retrofit Housing Division

  • Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina
  • Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois
  • Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania; Johnson College, Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

Attached Housing Division

  • Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; Hanoi University of Civil Engineering, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • The University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, British Columbia; Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia
  • Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Ontario
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts

Multifamily Building Division

  • Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois
  • Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York; Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
  • Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Ontario
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Alexandria, Virginia

Office Building Division

  • Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  • Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois
  • Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India
  • Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, Rupnagar, India
  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
  • Monash University, Clayton, Australia
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts

Education Building Division

  • Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  • Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Myongji University, Seoul, South Korea
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
  • Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York City, New York
  • The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby, British Columbia
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • University of North Texas, Denton, Texas; Al Hussein Technical University, Amman, Jordan

Winning teams are recognized with awards on an international stage and winning design projects are shared through Solar Decathlon and U.S. Department of Energy channels. DOE says the Design Challenge builds on the 20-plus year legacy of the Solar Decathlon in creating a global community of current and future professionals dedicated to tackling the most complex problems facing the buildings industry.

Finalists will be featured at the competition's awards ceremony livestream on April 23, 2023 at 10 a.m. EDT, to see which teams earn the grand prizes this year.

“As the premier sponsor for Solar Decathlon this year, we are thrilled to honor the finalist teams in the Design Challenge,” concluded Deb Cloutier, chief sustainability officer at Legence. “The experience students gain during this program is foundational to the design of energy efficient and sustainable buildings in real life—some of our best engineers today are Solar Decathlon graduates.”

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