(Credit: John De La Rosa/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)
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.
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 took its prototype to Denver, Colorado, where they exhibited the design to professional juries and the general public.
After the competition, which the Swiss prototype named NeighborHub won, the solar house is 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