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Engineering Technologies, Safety, and Construction

College of Education and Professional Studies

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Engineering Technologies, Safety, and Constructions
Hogue 101
(509) 963-1756

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Solar Decathlon Build Challenge National Collegiate Competition

CWU Construction Management Students and Faculty are partnering with local homeowners to compete on the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Build Challenge. Solar Decathlon Build Challenge is a two-year national collegiate competition between September 2021 and August 2023. The competition has inspired thousands of students worldwide to enter the clean energy workforce since its inception in 2002. Dr. Hongtao Dang is the faculty coach, leading a team of 12 junior and senior students. Students will work on a design-and-build, net-zero energy, and solar-powered house for two academic years (i.e., AY 2021-2022 and AY 2022-2023). Student teams will research, design, and build highly efficient, innovative, low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy. The new construction of the Solar Decathlon project is a steel arch house consisting of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, one living room, one kitchen, and one garage for three cars and a workshop. Through innovative design and renewable energy, the proposed house will be wind-resistant, fire-resistant, termite-resistant, earthquake-resistant, cost-effective, and energy-efficient. The Solar Decathlon will evaluate students’ work and the project in ten contests that address building science, energy efficiency, occupant experience, community needs, affordability, resilience, and embodied environmental impact. These ten contests are 1) Architecture, 2) Engineering, 3) Innovation, 4) Energy, 5) Water, 6) Health and Comfort, 7) Home Life, 8) Appliance, 9) Communications, and 10) Market Potential.

Our nonprofit collaboration and educational partnership offers students community- and service-based learning experiences and fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement. We seek contributions, sponsors, and donations to the project to help us complete the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge and the new construction of the residence. Please contact Dr. Hongtao Dang at or (509) 963-1762 for partnerships, sponsorships, and donations. Additionally, you may contact the student team Lead, Zachary Dalseg at, or the student Construction Officer, Alex Heintz at


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