· The 3rd edition saw participation from 1780 students and 126 academic institutions
· Student teams presented net-zero solutions for 36 real building projects on the final day of presentation
Solar Decathlon India (SDI), aimed at building the next generation of leaders to combat climate change in India, is an annual challenge for undergraduate and postgraduate students from Indian educational institutions to develop innovative, net-zero energy-water and climate resilient solutions for the building sector in India. After two years of COVID-19 forced virtual events, SDI conducted its 3rd edition at Infosys’ campus in Mysuru, one of the most sustainability operated campuses in the world, where six teams topped their divisions. These six teams pitched their solutions to a Grand Jury consisting of real estate and media stalwarts, and Team V? from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur won the coveted Grand Prize for the most promising and investment worthy design.
The winners were announced in the presence of innovator and social entrepreneur Anish Malpani, who also delivered the keynote address. The 36 Finalist projects were exhibited at the finals to a crowd of over 650 people. On May 28, Solar Decathlon India holds an internship fair where leading organisations working on climate change and net-zero buildings look to hire the best and brightest minds.
Infosys provided the venue pro bono for the three-day Finals, which was conducted as a carbon-neutral event. The SDI trophies awarded to the winners were themselves carbon negative, demonstrating how Climate Change mitigation can be addressed with creativity and perseverance.
The Council of Architecture (CoA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding as a knowledge partner with AEEE, who co-organises SDI, to expand outreach and the impact of Solar Decathlon India to address Climate Change. This is expected to facilitate architectural educational institutions and students to participate in the competition.
Prasad Vaidya, Director Solar Decathlon India, said “Some of these student teams have developed net-zero building designs that are on par with the work of the best professionals design teams in India. Within 9 months these students were able to scale a very steep learning curve. If students can do this so well, it is time that building owners and developers start demanding this quality of work on every building project they invest in.”
Chaitali Bhattacharya, Interim Director, IUSSTF, said “The Solar Decathlon India is an innovative platform that encourages and instils a healthy competitive spirit in youngsters by challenging them to think outside the box and use their ingenuity to design a net-zero niche. It was encouraging to see how inventive and imaginative solutions to global climate change challenges were presented at the Finals.”
“The IPCC AR6 2023 Synthesis report, which I co-authored, emphasises the importance of resilient net-zero buildings in the urban transition to limit global warming. The Solar Decathlon India finalists proposed innovative solutions integrating renewable technologies, sustainable design, and community engagement to transform Indian cities to achieve the 1.5oC goal.” - Aromar Revi, Director, IIHS.
“Bringing about a paradigm shift in design and construction practices is a complex and timeconsuming task. It is thrilling to witness the ideas and designs that have emerged from this season of Solar Decathletes for net-zero buildings across different building typologies. The novelty with which they engage with various tools and skills introduced to them through the Solar Decathlon India, has transformative potential for the building sector.
With SDI, we have planted the seeds of a movement, where buildings transcend their function as mere shelters and become powerful symbols of energy efficiency, resilience, and a sustainable legacy for future generations. Solar Decathlon India represents a paradigm shift in building design, inviting builders, developers, and academia to participate in this movement and redefine their roles.” – Satish Kumar, President and Executive Director, AEEE.
Solar Decathlon India is conducted by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) and the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE) under the aegis of the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) ran for nine months. The 2023-24 challenge saw 154 teams competing, with 1780 students from 126 academic institutions, guided by 200 faculty mentors. Solar Decathlon India 2023-24 edition saw over 30 organisations offer opportunities for the challenge participants.
Full list of division wise winners of the 2022-23 Challenge:
Winner: Team Zenith from Arvindbhai Patel Institute of Environmental Design and MANIT Bhopal
Runner Up: Team SuGriha from Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur and MBS School of Planning and Architecture
Winner: Team Synergy from Sir J.J. College of Architecture and Thakur College of Engineering and Technology
Runner Up: Team Al Ma'arij from M.H. Saboo Siddik College of Engineering and Rizvi College of Architecture
Winner: Team Green Collars from RV College of Architecture and School of Design, RV University
Runner Up: Team LENS from SMEF's Brick school of Architecture and BRACT's Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology
Winner: Team V? from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur
Runner Up: Team ECO-TRIBE from Dr Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture and Navsahyadri Education Society's Group of Institutions - Engineering
Community Resilience Shelter
Winner: Team Samakrut from SMEF's Brick School of Architecture and BRACT's Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology
Runner Up: Team Tattva from Manipal School of Architecture and Planning, Manipal Institute of Technology, and Academy of Architecture Rachana Sansad
On-Site Construction Worker Housing
Winner: Team Echo from School of Architecture Planning & Design, DIT University and Dehradun Institute of Technology University
Runner Up: Team sattva 2.0 from University School of Architecture and Planning and Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
About Solar Decathlon India
The Solar Decathlon India is a challenge among postgraduate and undergraduate students from Indian educational institutions to learn and design net-zero-energy-water, affordable, and resilient design solutions for real, live projects to combat Climate Change through the buildings sector.
Student teams develop affordable and industry-ready solutions for real projects with the help of online Self-Learning Modules and expert mentorship provided during this year-long challenge. It is a hands-on, practical, innovation-based challenge that moves the construction and real estate industry towards implementing net-zero solutions developed by students.