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Solar Decathlon: Promoting Sustainable Housing through Solar Energy

The Solar Decathlon is one of the most significant initiatives worldwide in sustainable housing construction. This proposal was created in 2002 by the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with the aim of promoting sustainable housing construction. The first competition in 2002 was held between universities in the United States. However, since the second edition in 2005, universities from Europe were also incorporated. In its latest edition in 2015, 20 universities from 8 countries from around the world participated.

The most recent edition was held in Colombia and was hosted by the Universidad del Valle in Cali. The Solar Decathlon 2015 was held from December 4 to 15 in a solar village that was built specifically for this event. An average of 7 million dollars was invested in the construction of the houses, but the most noteworthy aspect is that it will be used, after the competition, as the first solar urban laboratory in Colombia.

Additionally, the city of Cali hosted the 14 finalist teams of the competition, which came from various countries such as England, Uruguay, Spain, and Peru, among others. These multidisciplinary teams had worked on the design and construction of eco-sustainable housing. Moreover, all the teams began the construction of the houses in their home countries, and later transported them to Cali, where they would be assembled for exhibition in the solar village.