Solar Decathlon Winners with Pamela Cabrera

Pamela Cabrera’s students, the Cooper Union’s Solar Decathlon team, are the 2023 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Competition Commercial Grand Prize winners. Pamela Cabrera, a Senior Associate at Transsolar is also an assistant professor adjunct at the Cooper Union.

On April 23rd in Golden, Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the winners of longest-running student competition. The annual collegiate contest challenges the next generation of building professionals to design and construct high-performance, low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy, while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities in the buildings industry.

Pamela and the four presenting students, Ji Yong Chung, Tate Liang, Amelia Roopnarine and Larry Zeng, traveled to Colorado to NREL headquarters (Photo). The students presented their design for the extension of the New York Harbor School, a public college-prep high school located on Governor’s Island. Members of the team described their climate positive project, a net zero energy campus that is also carbon neutral with a plan to offset the embodied carbon of the new construction in 10 years. The design focused on resilience and an integrated design between architecture and engineering.

The annual Solar Decathlon Design Challenge allows students to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams to develop innovative & high-performance building designs that tackle real-world issues related to climate change, affordability, and environmental justice. Teams work on either a residential or commercial design project for one or two academic semesters, culminating in the Solar Decathlon Competition Event held at NREL.