Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.63
Liaison Melissa Maigler
Submission Date July 30, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stanford University
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Stanford Solar Decathlon

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition challenging students from twenty collegiate teams all around the world to design, build, and operate solar-powered net-zero homes. Teams are judged on ten contests ranging from juried contests like Architecture and Engineering to measured contests like Comfort Zone and Energy Balance. Since 2002, the Decathlon has demonstrated to the public and the home-building industry that solar homes can be affordable, attractive, and comfortable to live in, while also providing a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity for young designers and engineers entering the workforce to gain hands-on experience in an interdisciplinary learning environment.

In November of 2011, a small group of Stanford students submitted the very first proposal for Stanford University to compete in the 2013 Solar Decathlon. In January of 2012, Team Stanford was selected as one of twenty teams, including four California teams, two Canadian teams, and two European teams, to officially compete. For its sixth iteration, the 2013 Decathlon moved from the National Mall in Washington D.C. to the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA. After two years of design, engineering, fundraising, and construction, Team Stanford delivered its competition entry, titled Start.Home, to the Great Park and competed from October 3rd-13th, finishing in fifth place overall. The Start.Home was then reassembled at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, to replace the ranger’s residence and eventually transition to housing for long-term visiting researchers and scholars.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

The project team raised over $1.2 million in cash, in-kind, and service contributions and included over 125 undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students over the course of two years, along with participation by over twenty faculty and staff and thirty departments, programs, and university groups. In addition, the project team actively engaged in outreach opportunities and media exposure, leading to a community reach of over 23,400 individuals and over forty unique publications ranging from print and radio to online and nationally televised news coverage. The Start.Home team not only constructed one of the most affordable (1st place award) and marketable (3rd place award) homes in the competition with a unique vision for a Core module that resonated with a national audience, but it also created a legacy of building innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and project-based learning that will inspire future Stanford Solar Decathlon entries in years to come.

Please visit the following website for more information:

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum Yes
Research Yes
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.