Penn State wins third place at Solar Decathlon Design Challenge

Penn State wins third place at Solar Decathlon Design Challenge

The competition encourages inter- and multidisciplinary collaboration to create a holistic design and features a one-credit course in the spring semester, CE 411: Residential Construction Design Project, to help align student skills. This year’s course was taught by Sarah Klinetob Lowe, formerly the high-performance housing specialist of the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC) and now operations director of the Global Building Network in the College of Engineering. 

“It was such a pleasure working with this outstanding interdisciplinary team of future high-performance building professionals,” Klinetob Lowe said. “Their enthusiasm and professionalism in rising to the challenge of a retrofit design was commendable, and the feedback from the competition judges and Sustainability Institute representatives at every checkpoint was overwhelmingly positive. We couldn’t be prouder of this team and how well they represented Penn State at this international showcase event.”    

Ali Memari, Bernard and Henrietta Hankin Chair of Residential Construction and director of the PHRC, served as the head competition adviser. Additional faculty advisers included Lisa Domenica Iulo, associate professor of architecture and director of the Hamer Center for Community Design in the Stuckeman School; Rahman Azari, associate professor of architecture; and Brian Wolfgang, associate director of the PHRC. 

Students, faculty or industry interested in participating in the 2023 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge as a member or adviser of the Penn State team should contact Wolfgang at [email protected] 

The Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture is the largest academic unit in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. It houses the departments of Architecture, Graphic Design and Landscape Architecture, as well as two research centers: the Hamer Center for Community Design and the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing.  

The PHRC collaboratively engages with the residential construction industry to catalyze advancements in homebuilding through education, training, innovation, research, and dissemination. The PHRC envisions a residential construction industry equipped with the knowledge, skills, and technology to build better homes. Administered within the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Penn State, view their website at to learn more.