Initiated in 2002 by the United States Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon (SD) is a university-level student Competition for resource-responsible and energy-efficient architecture and engineering in the building sector. Eighteen to twenty university based Teams compete in the design, construction and management of innovative dwellings powered by renewable energy. The prototypes are brought to the Competition site and assembled in approximately 14 days. The site becomes an open forum and exhibition, where the dwellings are operated, demonstrated to the public, and evaluated by a jury of renowned international adjudicators.The Competition is structured around ten contests. These are either measured (i.e. Energy Performance) or juried (i.e. Architecture). The results of the ten contests are calculated, thus determining the overall winner. The contests reflect the emphasis on cross-disciplinary academic education celebrating a great variety of disciplines at the participating universities. It stimulates and offers research and design challenges at the universities beyond the scope of the Competition.The Solar Decathlon has been hosted in the United States eight times, most recently in October 2017. The Competition has also been held beyond the United States; in Europe (2010, 2012, 2014), China (2013, 2018), Latin America (2015) and Middle East (2018). Further competitions are planned in the United States (2020), Europe (2019, 2021), Latin America (2019), Africa (2019) and the Middle East (2020).
The European editions of the Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) were hosted by the Spanish government in Madrid in 2010 and 2012, and by the French government in Versailles in 2014. The upcoming SDE19 edition takes place in Szentendre, Hungary. Stewarded by the Energy Endeavour Foundation (EEF), under a shared European vision of sustainability, energy efficiency and responsible resource management the SDE21 Competition will be and hosted in Wuppertal, Germany. It will be the first time that the Solar Decathlon Europe ‘goes urban’!
The SDE21 Organisation’s (EEF & SDE21 Organisers) ultimate goal is to stimulate viable solutions for evolving urban contexts and energy systems, supporting the Solar Decathlon Europe’s basic objectives, described on the following page.