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Solar Decathlon Design Competition

Raised toward our $6,500 Goal
28 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 25, at 11:55 PM EDT
Project Owners

Solar Decathlon Design Competition

This project has ended, but you can still make your gift by visiting or by calling 800-533-1144.


For the first time ever, Virginia Tech will be sending two teams to the Solar Decathlon Design Competition (formally known as Race to Zero) in Golden, Colorado, and we need your help to get us there! We have two finalist teams competing: one is TreeHAUS and the other is ECO-Graphi0, and we are trying to raise $6500 to help support student air travel and accommodation as well as other project expenses. We want as many team members as possible to be able to participate in valuable networking opportunities with leading industry professionals in construction, energy and green building industries.

Virginia Tech has a long history of success in the Solar Decathlon, the U.S. Department of Energy's most popular student competition in sustainable design and architecture. We are looking to continue this legacy! Both LumenHAUS and FutureHAUS have previously won international acclaim in the design-build version of the event, and this is the first year the DOE has opened things up to include the design of larger residential buildings, mixed-use developments, and commercial office buildings. This has allowed both of our teams to DREAM BIG without the constraint of immediate construction! See below for some additional information on each of Virginia Tech's two finalist teams.

The TreeHAUS is a net-positive, regenerative attached housing project inspired by the way trees collect and distribute resources in the forest. The goal of the project is to strengthen the surrounding environment and Blacksburg municipality by imagining the house as a cooperative constituent of its contextual ecology. The TreeHAUS will harness energy from the sun, harvest water from the rain, and cycle resources and information throughout its community in the same way that plants and trees do in nature. Our design will be the first residential building in a proposed Live/Work/Learn village at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.

ECO-Graphi0 is the envisioned office building that will be part of Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) office park, located in close proximity to campus and future student housing that will be developed as a smart village. The project will become a living-learning experience for researchers in residency applying building science concepts in a larger development plan, providing opportunities to integrate energy and load management strategies across different building types within a community. More specifically, this project will be developed in coordination with Virginia Tech’s entry in the Attached Housing division, demonstrating how building occupancy diversity and load management can contribute to further energy savings across a microgrid.

Thank you again for helping to support our project, and especially our students, in travelling to Colorado for the finals of the Solar Decathlon Design Competition. We are trying to raise $6500 by April 25th, so please pledge anything you can to help the cause!

Choose a giving level


Bronze Level Donor

Donate $25 to be featured as a Bronze Level Donor!


Silver Level Donor

Donate $50 to be featured as a Silver Level Donor!


Gold Level Donor

Donate $129 to be featured as a Gold Level Donor! This covers the cost of one room for one night at the Solar Decathlon Design Competition venue in Golden, Colorado.


Platinum Level Donor

Donate $503 to be featured as a Platinum Level Donor! This donation amount covers the estimated total cost to send one additional student to Colorado.

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