A total of 12 teams won the Solar Decathlon India (SDI) Design Challenge for Net-Zero Future Proof Building in the different categories at the 3rd edition of the challenge conducted at Infosys’ campus in Mysuru. Six teams that topped their divisions pitched their solutions to a Grand Jury consisting of real estate and media stalwarts, and Team V⁰ from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, won the coveted Grand Prize for the most promising and investment-worthy design.
The 36 finalist real building projects were exhibited at the finals to a crowd of over 650 people. On May 28, Solar Decathlon India held an internship fair where leading organisations working on climate change and net-zero buildings scout the best and brightest minds.
Speaking during the announcement of the awards, Prasad Vaidya, Director Solar Decathlon India, said, “Some of these student teams have developed net-zero building designs that are at par with the work of best professional design teams in India. Within 9 months, these students could 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.”
“The Solar Decathlon India is an innovative platform that encourages and instills 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,” Chaitali Bhattacharya, Interim Director, IUSSTF, pointed out at the annual challenge for undergraduate and postgraduate students to develop innovative, net-zero energy-water and climate-resilient solutions for the building sector in India.
The Solar Decathlon India is conducted every year 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), an autonomous bilateral organisation jointly funded by both the Governments (The Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and the U.S. Department of State are the respective nodal departments on the two sides).
This year the challenge ran for nine months, and the winners were announced in the presence of innovator and social entrepreneur Anish Malpani, who also delivered the keynote address.
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 aimed at building the next generation of leaders to combat climate change in India. This is expected to facilitate architectural educational institutions and students to participate in the competition.
“The IPCC AR6 2023 Synthesis report 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 and co-author of the report, elaborated.
“Bringing about a paradigm shift in design and construction practices is a complex and time-consuming 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,” Satish Kumar, President, and Executive Director of AEEE, stressed.
The three-day finals were 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 2023-24 challenge 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 the 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
For more information;
Contact: Pooja Suresh Hollannavar, IIHS