University solar decathlon team to compete in China

Having experience in competitions building solar houses in the United States since 2007, the Illinois Solar Decathlon team is expanding its horizons and traveling halfway across the world in 2013.

The team is taking part in the first competition in China in early August and collaborated with Peking University to construct its house. The competition is biennial, or every two years, although this event is the first one to be hosted in China. Around 20 students will be crossing the Pacific Ocean to China to help finish the house and take part in the competition.

“It is 99 percent student-run,” architecture lead Zak Helmick said. “Most of us have never done this before, so a lot of us are still learning.”

The team has been in contact with students at Peking University for almost two years now, mainly via Skype and emails during early mornings or late nights as it battled the 13-hour time difference as well as the language barrier to create a “net zero” solar house.

The Illinois team is one of 22 teams from 13 countries to take part in the event and the houses will be judged on 10 criteria: architecture, market appeal, engineering, communications, solar application, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment and energy balance.

Read more at The Daily Illini.

For more information, visit




Share this story with other alumni and friends



The University of Illinois Alumni Association is dedicated to connecting alumni and friends to positively impact the University of Illinois, its alumni, and its students.  Visit and support our work in connecting one global alumni family


Cookie Settings