The Solar Decathlon brings 18 international universities together to compete in ten contests that measure the ability to "design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house." The competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and its National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) along with the American Institute of Architects, the National Association of Home Builders, BP, the DIY channel, and Sprint.
For each team, the process of building a viable, solar-powered home is an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort that started many months ago. Engineers and architects, students and faculty, schools and communities all work together to produce their home and deliver the messages of energy efficiency, solar power, and intelligent design using the latest technologies.
This fall, each team will travel to Washington, D.C. and reconstruct their solar home on the lawn of the National Mall. House assembly begins at 12:01am on September 29 and continues until October 6. All solar homes will be open for public viewing from October 7-11 and again from October 13-16. The winner will be announced midday on October 14.