Solar Decathlon Student Design Competition

Appalachian State University has consistently performed well in the U.S. Department of Energy competition Solar Decathlon Design Challenge (formerly the Race to Zero). Teams have been selected to present at the final event every year we have participated. Notable rankings at the finals include:

  • 2015 Finalist for Grand Winner
  • 2016 1st place in Suburban Single Family Division
  • 2017 2nd place in Suburban Single Family Division
  • 2021 3rd place in Suburban Single Family Division
  • 2023 1st place in Retrofit Housing Division

What is the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge?

The Solar Decathlon Design Challenge is an annual competition, open to students and faculty from any interested collegiate institution. The competition is based upon a real-world scenario where a builder is developing a new high performance home product line or needs to update an existing product line (house plan) to a high-performance house design. College teams are posed with a design problem and are asked to either create a new house design that satisfies the project requirements or redesign an existing floor plan. The mandatory performance target is the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home specification or the forthcoming Advanced Energy Design Guide For K-12 School Buildings–Achieving a Zero Energy Bvuilding.  For more information about the competition, visit the Department of Energy's site.