The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient buildings powered by renewable energy. Winning teams blend design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and building efficiency. The Solar Decathlon offers collegiate teams a unique opportunity to develop critical career skills that prepare them to enter the clean energy workforce. Teams have the option to participate in one of two challenges: the Design Challenge or the Build Challenge. Learn more about the competition here!

Design Challenge


The US Department of Energy (USDOE) hosts the competition, which culminates at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. In 2020 we placed first in the Urban Single-Family category of the USDOE Solar Decathlon Design Challenge. In 2021 we placed first in the Mixed-Use Multi-Family Division of the USDOE Solar Decathlon Design Challenge. Back-to-back feels good. Learn more about the Design Challenge here!

Build Challenge

In 2021, we will begin our first Build Challenge! This will take place over the next two years, completing in Spring 2023.

Laundry Haus (2021)

Laundry Haus was Third Quadrant Design's first attempt at a larger scale building. We transformed a light industrial warehouse at the end of its life into a high-performance five storey mixed-use development. Building on our success in 2020, we hoped to use our momentum to compete in a more challenging and competitive division -- and it worked. We won 1st place in the Mixed-Use Multi-Family Division, beating out schools like Harvard, Berkeley, and the University of Arizona. Laundry Haus is regeneratively designed and holds building resilience and occupant comfort as paramount to creating a holistic community in which to live, work, and play.

Solis House (2020)

Our 2020 submission to the Solar Decathlon's Urban Single-Family Home category won first place! Solis House was Third Quadrant Design's first submission into the competition. It features on-site solar power, food production, rainwater harvesting, passive cooling, hot water recovery, and so much more (check out the video above).