2023 Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Winners Announced

Sustainability and Green Building

The Solar Decathlon Competition took place April 20-23 in Golden, Colo., where 11 finalist teams were recognized in the Build Challenge for their innovative projects. NAHB has been a sponsor of the decathlon since 2004, nearly every year since its inception.

Top projects included:

  • First Place: Ball State University’s Alley House project — an affordable, net-zero energy duplex home that can house two families and is intended to be part of a larger community initiative that will include 40 units, or 20 duplex homes.
  • Second Place: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay’s Project Vivaan — a 1,416-square-foot family home built with advanced technology solutions to help address air quality in a hot and humid climate.
  • Third Place: The University of British Columbia’s Third Space Commons project — a sustainable integrated design hub for experiential and research-based learning on zero emissions, regenerative, and climate resilient design.

Teams also placed in 10 individual categories, including architecture, engineering, energy performance, and comfort and environmental quality.

Heather Laminack of Ferrier Custom Homes, an NAHB member and immediate past chair of the Sustainability and Green Building Subcommittee, served as a judge for this year’s competition.

Laminack observed: “I loved the community engagement aspect of so many of these projects. In most cases, these homes were created to address a specific need — whether that was an urban infill project as part of a larger context of neighborhood restoration, like Ball State University; workforce housing with a purpose to end the cycle of systemic poverty, like Texas A&M; or harnessing 3D-printed technologies to create smart buildings that solve complex problems such as rising homelessness, like Woodbury University. These students set out to address large, often complex, social issues and utilized building science as a part of the solution.”

Check out the full list of winners for the 2023 event at solardecathlon.gov.

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