The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an academic competition of 10 contests that challenges student teams to design and build full-size, energy-efficient and solar-powered houses. The winning team most successfully blends design excellence, smart energy and water strategies with innovation and market potential. Open to the public on October 5 – 9 and 12 – 15, 2017 at the 61st Peña station near Denver, Colorado’s International Airport, the event also features a sustainability exhibition, professional and consumer educational workshops, middle school education events, and a Denver community festival.
The purpose of the Solar Decathlon competition is to promote the use of renewable energies through solar energy. The teams who participate in the competition have to build a house operated with the sun as its main source of energy. But the competition is not just about solar energy. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an intensive learning course for competing teams and visitors alike. The event is a live demonstration of the latest technologies and materials in energy- efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions, water conservation measures, electric vehicles, and sustainable buildings.
First held in Washington, D.C., in 2002, the Solar Decathlon has expanded to Africa, China, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East to involve more than 200 teams and 35,000 academic participants worldwide.
Solar Decathlon provides a unique hands-on experience and training to students preparing to enter the clean energy workforce, and renewable energy and energy efficiency education for the visiting public.
The Swiss team selected for the 2017 edition is made up of participants from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD) and the University of Fribourg (UNIFR). In the fall of 2017, the team will take its prototype to Denver, Colorado, where they will exhibit the design to professional juries and the general public.
After the competition, the solar prototype will be brought back to Fribourg where it will be adapted to merge into the city. This pilot program has been designed to be tested in real context.
Some examples of houses built for the previous editions