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2020

Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon

June 24–28 and July 1–5, 2020

From changing climates to natural and human-made disasters, it is no easy task to design buildings able to address the most pressing issues of our time. Around the globe, engineers, architects, and planners are doing just that. Many of the most inventive weave contemporary and traditional knowledge to create innovative, culturally appropriate structures. 

Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy has helped develop the next generation of clean-energy workforce through the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® competition. Collegiate teams from around the world must realize buildings powered by renewable energy, combining architectural and engineering skills to produce homes of the future. The competition features two tracks: the Design Challenge and the Build Challenge. During the Build Challenge, teams have two years to design and construct complete, functional houses to demonstrate creative solutions for real-world issues.

In 2020, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will host the culmination of this year’s Solar Decathlon. Visitors will be able to tour five solar homes, test new home technologies, meet this year’s student competitors, and learn about ways to conserve energy and integrate renewables at home. The winning team will be announced at the Festival on Sunday, July 5.

Build Challenge Teams

Teams marked with a * will be exhibiting homes at the Festival.

  • Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands) *
  • Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas) *
  • Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Valparaíso, Chile)
  • University of Colorado (Boulder, Colorado)
  • University of Denver (Denver, Colorado)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, Illinois) *
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada) *
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
  • Weber State University (Ogden, Utah)

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.

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