This year, U.S. Department of Energy merged
Race to Zero and Solar Decathlon into one competition
DESIGN CHALLENGE (ANNUAL)
Teams that compete in the annual Solar Decathlon Design Challenge must create residential or commercial building designs over one or two semesters. Designs are evaluated on how well they meet the nation’s rapidly evolving demand for buildings that are innovative, cost-effective, quick to build, high-quality, resilient, grid-interactive, efficient, and locally responsive. The Design Challenge is similar to the previous Race to Zero Student Design Competition. Teams choose one of six building type “Divisions” in which to compete.
BUILD CHALLENGE (BIENNIAL)
Teams that compete in the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge must design and construct fully functional houses. Teams choose to compete in one of two “Divisions” – the National Showcase or the Local Build. In the National Showcase, teams will ship their houses to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in June 2020 for display and operation on the National Mall. In the Local Build, teams will showcase their built houses in their communities and bring a smaller representative exhibit to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.