The Contests

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests. These contests are designed to gauge how well the houses perform and how livable and affordable they are. Each contest is worth a maximum of 100 points, for a total of 1,000 points.2011 Solar Decathlon

Teams can earn points three ways:  

1. TASK COMPLETION Teams complete household tasks such as cooking, washing dishes, and doing laundry.

2. MONITORED PERFORMANCE Team houses perform to specified criteria, such as maintaining a comfortable (71° to 76°F) indoor temperature range.  

3. JURY EVALUATION Jurors who are experts in their field (such as architecture, engineering, and communications) award points for features that cannot be measured (such as aesthetics and design inspiration).  

Contests based on task completion or monitored performance are called measured contests; contests based on jury evaluation are called juried contests.


  1. Architecture
  2. Market Appeal
  3. Engineering
  4. Communications
  5. Affordability
  6. Comfort Zone
  7. Hot Water
  8. Appliances
  9. Home Entertainment
  10. Energy Balance