WSU Students Qualify to Compete at the Solar Decathlon® in 2020

About the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. Winning teams blend design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and building efficiency. The Solar Decathlon offers collegiate teams a unique opportunity to develop critical career skills that prepare them to enter the clean energy workforce. Teams that compete in the annual Solar Decathlon Design Challenge create residential, mixed-use, or commercial building designs that are evaluated on how well they meet the nation’s rapidly evolving demand for innovative, cost-effective, quick-to-build, high-quality, resilient, grid-interconnected, efficient buildings that respond to targeted community needs. Winning teams are recognized at an Awards Banquet during the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Weekend, which is April 12–14, 2019, at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado.


Teams that compete in the biennial Solar Decathlon Build Challenge design and construct fully functional houses in one of two Divisions: the National Showcase or the Local Build. In the National Showcase Division, teams present tourable houses at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in June/July 2020 for display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In the Local Build Division, teams display their built houses in select local communities. Two winners—one from each Division—are selected in July 2020.

DOE has advanced energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building science innovation for decades and work to integrate many of these advancements into the Solar Decathlon competitions to enhance workforce development. The Solar Decathlon builds on the strengths of its previous competitions by offering the Build Challenge and Design Challenge paths for collegiate institutions to participate in. Along the way, tens of thousands of collegiate students have been inspired to collaborate on interdisciplinary teams with industry partners. NREL serves as the Program Administrator of the Solar Decathlon.

WSU Student Participants:

Chad Mason, Chris Blackham, Luisa Austad, Mark Millerberger, Kent Harmon, Heidi Ouzts, and Shauna Morris's Residential Design Class.

Follow the WSU Students Journey on Instagram

Account: wsusolardecathalon2020

Solar Decathlon 2019 Photos