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Solar Decathlon (Ongoing)

Project History

  • 1/11/2019

    The Gable Home was designed and built by students to compete in the 2009 US Dept. of Energy's Solar Decathlon Competition.

  • 7/18/2017

    Student Sustainability Committee and the School of Architecture worked with F&S to move the 2009 Solar Decathlon House from I Hotel grounds, where it was located for seven years.


The Solar Decathlon is a bi-annual international competition hosted by the Department of Energy and the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Competitors design, build, and present a completely solar-powered house on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The University's team consisted of efforts from several colleges; ACES, FAA, CoE, Communications, and Buisiness all made efforts in the design and building of the house.

After the competition, the houses built by the UIUC teams at the Center for Green Technology in Chicago, on the Weather Channel, at the GreenBuild Expo in Chicago, and on various news outlets. The University team has shown a commitment to education of the public about how solar power and sustainable design are feasible and attractive options.

The Student Sustainability Committee funded the project in 2007 and 2009. The 2009 house won second place overall, but both houses earned top honors for specific categories. For more information about the project, visit

The University of Illinois is the only school to be invited to each of the past three Solar Decathlon international events hosted in the United States, taking home 2nd (2009), 7th (2011) and 9th (2007) place, in those biennial competitions, respectively.   

The 2013 project, partly funded by Student Sustainability Committee, is being built in China and co designed with University of Illinois Students and Peking University students partnering for the competition. More details: