Village Insider: Now Covering 5 Continents and 2 Species

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017


Solar Decathlon Village Insider

JULY 2017   

Message from the Director

Excitement for the 2017 competition in Denver is building—literally. Two weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Colorado and see the progress being made by the UC Berkeley/U of Denver team. Check out a recap of the day that we filmed for a Facebook live post here.

Now that the competition is less than 100 days away, the event is coming into focus. In this edition of the Village Insider, you will find information about volunteer opportunities, new online education resources, updates on past competition houses, and a spin-off competition for sustainable dog houses that will take place concurrently with the main event in October.

Building Bright Futures,
Linda Silverman, SD 2017 Director

Get Involved—Volunteer for Solar Decathlon 2017!

photo of a boy who is talking to two men while volunteering at an event

Volunteer docent Shyam Kannan, age 12, leads a tour in front of Crowder College and Drury University at Solar Decathlon 2015. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Looking for something fun, exciting, and rewarding to do this fall? Check out the latest information on our website about volunteering for the Solar Decathlon. We’re looking for volunteers to enhance the visitor experience at the Solar Decathlon village, to mentor middle school groups, and to assist the site operations and event management crews. The Solar Decathlon isn’t possible without the support of hundreds of volunteers, so, please join us and spread the word among your colleagues, friends, and family.

From the Blog

INFOGRAPHIC: Energy Jobs Inspired by the Solar Decathlon 
Our interactive infographic explores a range of jobs connected to the 10 Solar Decathlon contests, while the blog discusses a growing need for qualified workers.

The Many Fates of Former Solar Decathlon Houses 
Find out what happened to the 2013 and 2015 competition houses after the event.

Bark Twice if Your Dog Wants to Go Solar
Our partners at Denver International Airport are hosting the first Sustainable BARKitecture solar doghouse competition in the run-up to Solar Decathlon 2017.

photo of a man walking two golden retrievers at an event

Brad Crown, a local architect, walks his dogs Chase and Riley while exploring Solar Decathlon 2009 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.)

#SolarDecathlon Trending Now

screen capture of an Instagram post showing construction progress

screen capture of an Instagram post showing construction progress

screen capture of an Instagram post showing construction progress

screen capture of an Instagram post showing construction progress

Related News

Tune in to Denver Design Week July 15-21

We are proud to partner with Modern in Denver magazine for the second annual Denver Design Week, a seven-day celebration of innovation, creativity, technology, and art. Our competition manager Joe Simon will lead a session titled “Innovation through Competition” at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 19, at the CU Denver campus downtown. This is a big deal for Denver, the design community—and us. Be part of this initiative by following @DENdesignweek on social media.

New Education Resources

We recently added new resources to the education section of the website, including information about careers related to the skills and experience students gain through participation in the Solar Decathlon, as well as other careers in renewable energy. We’ve also added links to energy education resources for consumers and homeowners, building industry professionals, and K-12 students and teachers.

SD2015 House for Sale

photo of a house with a PV array of 19 panels on the exterior side

New York City College of Technology is looking for a permanent home for its DURA (Diverse, Urban, Resilient, and Adaptable) house. After competing in Solar Decathlon 2015, the team stored the house in Los Angeles. Visit NY City Tech’s team page for more details about DURA, and contact Alexander Aptekar at if you are interested in purchasing this energy-efficient house.

Next U.S.-based Solar Decathlon Planned for 2020

Last year, we expanded the global impact of Solar Decathlon to include events in Africa and South America. That means that the international Solar Decathlon calendar is now packed with excitement, including events in China, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Europe in 2018 and 2019. In light of this busy schedule, we have decided to move the next U.S. competition to 2020 rather than 2019. 

A key feature of the Solar Decathlon is that competitions are open to any university in the world to apply and compete. We feel that holding too many events in a single calendar year creates unnecessary competition that is contrary to the mission of the Solar Decathlon. More information about our plans for future events will be shared in this newsletter starting in 2018.


The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design and build full-size, energy-efficient, solar-powered houses that blend design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. The 2017 competition will be open to the public October 5–9 and 12–15 at the 61st & Peña Station on the University of Colorado A line commuter rail in Denver, Colorado. To learn more about the Solar Decathlon, please visit and follow us on social media.

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