Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) has sponsored the university student led Solar Decathlon. The Competition takes place every 2 years on the National Mall in Washington DC, where 20 teams from around the world build and showcase their innovative designs for 21st century, sustainable homes. The houses are judged in 10 categories relating to design, performance, and market viability.
Successfull houses will be affordable, efficient, and appealing. The houses engage both active and passive strategies to utilize renewable resources to their advantage with the ultimate goal being net-zero energy consumption. The competition is a chance for students to showcase innovative designs and ideas in a way that will help educate the world on the importance of sustainable design.