Team from UWM and UW-Madison places second in Solar Decathlon

The UWM and UW-Madison Solar Decathlon team placed second in the new housing category in the 2022 Solar Decathlon design challenge, held April 22-24 in Golden, Colorado.

The Wisconsin team’s design shown in this rendering includes features such as an orientation that allows photovoltaic panels to capture the sun’s energy year-round, energy efficient windows, extra insulation and window overhangs that provide shade in the warmer months.

The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors the annual Race to Zero Solar Decathlon for colleges and universities each year. Over 20 years, more than 40,000 students across the world have competed to use the latest technologies to design and build the most sustainable buildings possible.

This is the seventh year in a row that UW-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning and UW-Madison’s College of Engineering have teamed up to design a house for the competition. In 2016-2017, the team also earned second place.

The challenge now is turning the designs into houses, according to Mark Keane, UWM professor of architecture and faculty mentor. Three years ago, the competition added construction documents as part of the competition, but then the pandemic and higher-than-normal product and construction costs stalled efforts to bid the projects out, he said. As things return to normal, the hope is that designs can move from studio to construction.

For more information on the competition or zero net energy home design, contact Keane.

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