Image of a bedroom

Solar Decathlon

Bedroom of UNLV’s 2017 Sinatra Living home designed for those aging-in-place

Background on Solar Decathlon

UNLV has participated in three U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Competitions – 2013, 2017 and 2020. The international competition challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar- powered houses that are energy-efficient, affordable and attractive. In addition, schools can select specific themes for their homes. An interdisciplinary team of students, including many from engineering, work together with university faculty and staff, and external community partners to achieve their builds, providing real-world experience unmatched in a classroom.

2020 – Mojave Bloom

The University’s latest house, Mojave Bloom, was another resounding success, taking third place overall in the competition. Mojave Bloom was designed to be a place of healing for veterans suffering the effects of wartime trauma and is placed in the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden, a memorial garden built in response to the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

Construction workers at the Mojave Bloom house

2017 – Sinatra Living

UNLV was one of only 16 teams selected to participate in the 2017 competition in which students and faculty mentors designed and built Sinatra Living, an aging-in-place home. Their efforts resulted in taking first place for Innovation and second place for both Engineering and Architecture.

Sinatra Living house

Photo by Jack Dempsey/US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

2013 – Desert Sol

UNLV’s first entry, Desert Sol, exemplified an ultra- efficient vacation home built specifically for the Mojave Desert for those who are sustainability conscious. The team finished first among American universities and second overall. Desert Sol is now a permanent exhibit at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve where it serves to showcase innovations in sustainable home design.

Desert Sol kitchen

Photo by Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon