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Participants at the 2018 Race to Zero Student Design Competition

Join us!

Image: Ellen Jaskol/NREL, DOE Race to Zero

After making it to the finals in 2018, The University of Arizona is once again competing in the 2019 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge!

All students at The University of Arizona are welcome to enroll in the course, which is led by Prof. Jonathan Bean, chair of the M.S. Architecture in Sustainable Market Transformation.

If you join us, you'll become an expert on one or more aspects of net-zero and net-positive building—and help lead the way towards a better future for all. 

2017 U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition
Play Video

This video shows an overview of the competition, which is sponsored by the US Department of Energy. Last year it was called the Race to Zero Student Design Competition. This year the name was changed to Solar Decathlon Design Challenge.

Image: Ellen Jaskol/NREL, DOE Race to Zero



Septic Tanks System Installing

How buildings really work

​You'll learn about how buildings work not only from Prof. Bean, but also from John Straube and Joe Lstiburek, some of the best-known names in the field.

Example topics include:

  • Why building insulation should always be continuous

  • What makes a window perform well (or poorly!)

  • Why moisture can be a serious threat to high-performance buildings

Energy Efficiency Consultation

The potential of solar

You'll learn why solar panels can't solve climate change on their own! Low-load and net-positive buildings, like the ones we'll design, are an integral part of a future that's healthier for the planet and all its people.

For Sale

The role of the market

Design's but one aspect of this competition. Our entry has to be competitive across ten categories:

  1. Energy performance

  2. Engineering

  3. Financial feasibility and affordability

  4. Resilience

  5. Architecture

  6. Operations

  7. Market potential

  8. Comfort and environmental quality

  9. Innovation

  10. Presentation

What you'll learn in the course and competition

  • Architecture 461q (for undergraduate students) and 561q (for graduate students) meets Spring 2019 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:45.

  • Prerequisites: curiosity, willingness to collaborate, and a tendency to question assumptions.

  • Questions? Call or text Prof. Bean at 520-203-1268.

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