Solar Decathlon India, what’s it all about?

Net-zero buildings, that’s what it’s about!

Solar Decathlon India is a challenge for postgraduate and undergraduate student teams from Indian institutions to join forces and combat Climate Change. Student teams design net-zero-energy-water buildings, contributing to real projects, while partnering with leaders in real estate development.

Solar Decathlon India enables students to explore innovative and affordable market-ready solutions. This is the resilient and carbon-neutral way forward for our sustainable buildings and communities.

Registrations for the 2024-25 Challenge are open! 

Join this 9-month long experience to become a young leader for net-zero! Get the chance to partner with real-estate developers to design real net-zero buildings and industry partners to ‘make’ solutions that improve cooling performance in existing residential buildings.

Learn Building Science, test your designs using simulation software from DesignBuilder, and get your designs validated by the industry.

And if all that isn’t enough to entice you, there’s also trophies, cash prizes, and placements with top organisations in sustainability.

Click here to register now!

Dumb Ways to Build!

At the SDI Finals 2024 Solar Decathlon India released Dumb Ways to Build to highlight poor building practices and their negative impact on the environment, society, and economy.

Summarising the 2023-24 Challenge 

After 9 months, we have wrapped up another successful year. This year, over 2100 students and 270 faculty mentors from 187 institutions across India participated and developed innovative and resilient solutions for India’s building sector. At the Finals, they presented their work to the jury and the jury appreciated their hard work. The finalists also got access to the career fair to secure placement opportunities with companies working on climate action.

Watch their presentations on our YouTube Channel.

The Grand Winner

The Grand Winner of the Solar Decathlon India 2023-24 Challenge is Team Genesis from NMIMS’s Balwant Sheth School of Architecture and NMIMS’s Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering. Manisha Natarajan, Grand Jury member appreciated the team for working hard towards pursuing a net-zero goal for a Multi-Family Housing project, that was one of the was the toughest challenges to solve.

Division Winners and Runner Ups

Our Division Winners and Runner Ups for the 2023-24 Challenge!

View more details here.

Testing and prototyping

Solar Decathlon India provides an opportunity to develop interesting and innovative ideas. Students can develop them, test them and build models. The workability of their ideas can be tested by building working prototypes. Team Ecolution in the 2020-21 Challenge developed a working prototype of their shading device and analyzed wind patterns in their building.

See the work done by the finalists in the 2021-22 Challenge here, the 2022-23 Challenge here, and the 2023-24 Challenge here.


Crash course on Building Science 

Participating teams have the opportunity to become experts in Building Science. The teams will get access to online Self-Learning Modules on building science, energy efficiency, water sufficiency, cost estimation, resilience, and much more. Completing the modules according to the schedule, will help participants make best use of the learning, and apply it in their real building design projects. Read more about these modules here.

Become a Project Partner

Each team participating in one of the building divisions of SDI partners with a building owner or developer whose project they will work on. These project partners can take up a leadership role to change the future of our buildings and communities by joining the Solar Decathlon India effort. In the 2023-24 Challenge, over 100 real Project Partners collaborated with students to make their buildings net-zero energy-water and climate resilient.

If you want to become a Project Partner, register your interest here.


DesignBuilder makes building performance simulations easy. It contains a suite of state of the art performance analysis tools in an easy-to-use interface, trusted by engineers, architects and energy assessors the world over. Teams who register get access to DesignBuilder to test their design ideas.

Click here to see how the teams used simulations in the 2023-24 Challenge.


Green job opportunities 

Finalist teams have access to internships and early career opportunities with companies leading the charge on sustainability and climate action. In the 2023-24 Challenge, over 50 organisations offered internship and job opportunities to finalists in a Career Fair during the SDI Finals 2024. Check out the list of companies that were part of the fair.

“The passion, innovation, and fresh perspectives showcased by the students were absolutely remarkable. Their dedication to addressing climate change through sustainable building solutions reminded me of my own university days, filled with the same excitement and dreams for a brighter future. Seeing the students’ dedication and ingenuity gives me immense hope for the future. Their work not only supports India’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement but also contributes to a global movement towards sustainable living.”

Himansha Singh, Co-Founder, Craste

We tackled a real-world challenge: designing sustainable housing for construction workers. This interdisciplinary approach pushed us to explore innovative solutions for a sustainable future. It’s surreal to be invested in building a community that will shape the future of our nation’s construction industry!

Chandan KS, Participant, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli

“Our Lodha net-zero Urban Accelerator shows that growth decoupled from emissions is possible. We feel we can foster success through collaborations like SDI where the generation of future designers are encouraged to join us in Building a Better Life and leaving a better planet for the generations to come.”

Sonal Bhide, Head of Architecture for township projects, Lodha Group

Solar Decathlon India, a student competition for net-zero buildings, is one of its kind globally and truly inspires, builds, and transforms the mindsets of young talents to look at the built environment sensitively, scientifically, and sensibly. We encourage all to participate in this revolutionizing challenge determined to combat climate change by designing net-zero-energy-water buildings and contributing to real projects while partnering with leaders in real estate development.

Sandeep Shikre & Associates (SSA Architects)

We are learning different approaches to sustainability. Our project partner Navira has the Saptha Patha concept of sustainability including land, people and food, whereas our industry partner, Passive House Institute based in Germany, have a different approach to how they deal with resilience.

Ramya Kannan, Participant, School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada

“If this project (Team V°) is implemented, I’m sure it is going to have a profound social impact, on the way people look at public buildings.”

Harleen Oberoi, Head – Project Management, Tata Realty & Infrastructure Limited & Sr. VP, Tata Housing Development Company Ltd.

“SDI is not a competition; it is a movement. With AI coming into designs, I would participate again and would like to work with a real time project that would bring in sustainability, talk about parametric forms, building skin that would acts a filter to combat air quality index, etc.”

Shreya Mirpagar, Faculty, SMEF's Brick School of Architecture

I am very impressed by the team and I will take it away and implement their work. They have helped us reduce the cost by 30% and this makes it even more attractive as a design

Manu Gupta, Co-Founder, SEEDS India

Honestly speaking, I like the design that they have presented more than what we have for the building right now. The direction which the team is taking is very much in line with what the industry is taking.

Guruprakash Sastry, Regional Head, Infosys

This competition differentiates itself from any other competition that I have been in, because through this we have an opportunity to make real-world impact. I never thought I would approach people and companies outside in the first few years of my professional life, let alone as a college student.

Vikram Srikanth, Participant, Manipal Institute of Technology