40 Collegiate Teams Advance—Solar Decathlon 2024 Design Challenge

Teams Representing 11 Countries and 37 Institutions Will Present Their Zero-Energy Building Designs at the 2024 Design Challenge Competition Event, Hosted at NREL in April

March 1, 2024 | By Kelly MacGregor | Contact media relations

7 different zero energy design renderings showing building interiors and exteriors.
Renderings from a selection of 2024 Design Challenge finalist teams. Graphic by NREL

Forty teams from 37 collegiate institutions are advancing to the final stage of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon® 2024 Design Challenge based on their cutting-edge, zero-energy building designs.

"We can't meaningfully address climate change while continuing to design buildings the way we always have," said Holly Jamesen Carr, Solar Decathlon director at DOE. "These collegiate scholars impressed jurors by reimagining buildings as responsive to people and the planet."

Finalist teams were selected at the semifinal competition event, held virtually on Feb. 23–24, 2024. Teams presented their zero-energy building designs to panels of industry experts, and finalist teams were selected based on how well they addressed the 10 Solar Decathlon contests. The contests included architecture, engineering, presentation, and other topics. Teams not selected as finalists at the semifinal competition event may continue their participation as exhibition teams.

"Thanks to technological advances, zero-energy designs aren't science fiction anymore," said Kassie Grimes, DOE commercial buildings lead for the Solar Decathlon. "Solar Decathlon students have shown that creative solutions are attainable for both new and existing buildings in communities across the world."

The Design Challenge included residential and commercial designs across four divisions: single-family housing, attached housing, multifamily building, and education building. Ten finalist teams were selected in each division.

Finalist teams will compete to win their division—and to become the overall grand winner—at the hybrid Solar Decathlon Competition Event, April 19–21, 2024, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

Join the awards ceremony livestream on April 21, 2024, at 11 a.m. ET to see which sustainable building designs impressed jurors the most.

"As the Solar Decathlon's premier sponsor for the second year in a row, we are excited to see what the finalist teams bring to the table in the Design Challenge," said Deb Cloutier, chief sustainability officer at Legence. "This program gives students valuable, hands-on experience and lays the groundwork for designing real-world, energy-efficient, and sustainable buildings. Many of our top engineers today proudly trace their roots back to the Solar Decathlon."

Congratulations to the 2024 Design Challenge Finalist Teams!

Single-Family Housing Division

  • Georgia Institute of Technology—Atlanta, Georgia
  • Illinois Institute of Technology—Chicago, Illinois
  • Monash University—Clayton, Australia
  • Myongji University—Seoul, South Korea
  • The University of British Columbia Okanagan—Kelowna, British Columbia & Thompson Rivers University—Kamloops, British Columbia
  • The University of Oklahoma—Norman, Oklahoma
  • Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería—Lima, Peru
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga—Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg—Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology—Boston, Massachusetts

Attached Housing Division

  • Dartmouth College—Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Howard University—Washington, D.C.
  • Myongji University—Seoul, South Korea
  • Oklahoma State University—Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • The University of Arizona—Tucson, Arizona
  • The University of British Columbia—Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Toronto Metropolitan University—Toronto, Ontario
  • University of North Texas—Denton, Texas & Al Hussein Technical University—Amman, Jordan
  • University of Waterloo—Waterloo, Ontario
  • Virginia Commonwealth University—Richmond, Virginia

Multifamily Building Division

  • Illinois Institute of Technology—Chicago, Illinois
  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay—Mumbai, India
  • Northeastern University—Boston, Massachusetts
  • Northwestern University—Evanston, Illinois & Kent State University—Kent, Ohio
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art—New York City, New York
  • The University of Arizona—Tucson, Arizona
  • The University of Texas at Austin—Austin, Texas
  • University of Cincinnati—Cincinnati, Ohio
  • University of Missouri—Columbia, Missouri
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center—Alexandria, Virginia

Education Building Division

  • Illinois Institute of Technology—Chicago, Illinois
  • National University of Sciences and Technology—Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Southeast University— Nanjing, China & Tibet University—Lhasa, China
  • Tehran University of Art—Tehran, Iran
  • The University of Arizona—Tucson, Arizona
  • University of Cincinnati—Cincinnati, Ohio
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign—Urbana, Illinois
  • University of New Hampshire—Durham, New Hampshire
  • University of Oregon—Eugene, Oregon
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology—Boston, Massachusetts

About the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that prepares the next generation of building professionals to design high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewables. The Design Challenge is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition.

The Solar Decathlon has challenged more than 25,000 students to create efficient, sustainable buildings powered by renewables, while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry.

Additional details are available on the Solar Decathlon website.

Tags: Buildings