Skip to main content

Engineering, Architecture and Technology

Open Main MenuClose Main Menu

OSU students win 2nd place in the Attached Housing division for the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge

Friday, April 26, 2024

OSU Solar Decathlon Design Challenge team


12 students from the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology and the College of Education and Human Sciences won 2nd place in the Attached Housing division for the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge.


The Solar Decathlon challenges the next generation of building professionals to design high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy, promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry. The Solar Decathlon’s Design Challenge  is a one- to two-semester, design-only competition.


The challenge of the design competition was to design zero-energy, zero-carbon, and low cost attached housing.


OSU’s team worked with the “Journey Women’s Center,” which is a nonprofit organization that provides shelter, medical care, and training to disadvantaged women through their pregnancy and prepares them for independent living. The project, the Journey House, will be a housing complex with the major goal of providing a safe and positive environment for these women. Here, they will be given the help and care necessary to process trauma and find healing from complex PTSD, childhood abuse, and addiction to break the cycle of systematic neglect and poverty. The major design goal is to create a clean, healing, and functional shared environment that fosters a sense of hope and community. Phase One of the project is to build two attached maternity homes (four dwelling units total) on a 3.3-acre lot in Hillsdale, Oklahoma. Transitional units and additional maternity homes are proposed in future phases.


The team was able to apply innovative energy conserving measures that made the project zero-energy in its operation, take advantage of low-carbon building materials, low-carbon photovoltaic panels, and native landscaping that made the design zero-carbon. The life cycle cost analysis proved that the building in its 60-year life costs less than the average-market baseline in Oklahoma in the combined cost of construction and operation.


“A good thing about winning second place is that you know the team was competing for first,” said Dr. Khaled Mansy, Professor in the School of Architecture. “If I give a name to the team, I will name them ‘Cowboys on Fire’. They did a fantastic job on all competition requirements”.


More than 250 students from 40 finalist teams participated in the 2024 Design Challenge, a hybrid competition event hosted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, April 19–21, 2024. 


OSU Team Participants included:
Molly Hoback – School of Architecture and Team Lead
Abigail Richardson – School of Architecture
Emily Smith – School of Architecture
Whitney Waitsman - School of Architecture

Maggie Carathers - School of Architecture

Christian Brack - School of Architecture

Jacob Gore – School of Architecture
Ian Strickland – School of Architecture
AMR Abdelmoneim – Mechanical Engineering

Pouria MoghimiGhadikolaei – Mechanical Engineering
Lisa Jenson – Interior Design
Jahnia Wright – Interior Design


OSU Faculty Advisors included:

Dr. Khaled Mansey – School of Architecture and Faculty Lead
Professor Jay Yowell – School of Architecture
Dr. Christian Bach – Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dr. Hebatalla Nazmy – School of Interior Design


“For 22 years, the Solar Decathlon has been preparing students to lead the clean energy transition,” Building Technologies Office (BTO) Director Mandy Mahoney said. “I was inspired by this year’s teams and their inclusive vision for the spaces in which we live, learn, work and play, including transformative designs for affordable housing and vulnerable communities.  The real-world learning experience these students gained from the competition will benefit them for years to come as they transition into the buildings workforce and contribute to the implementation of President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda.” 

Link to the full story:  DOE Announces Solar Decathlon 2024 Design Challenge Winners | Department of Energy

You can watch the Awards Ceremony here

Back To Top