OU Eco-Sooners Team Selected as 2023 Solar Decathlon Finalists

A team of Gibbs students was recently selected as a finalist for the 2023 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that has inspired thousands of students worldwide to enter the clean energy workforce since its inception in 2002. This competition challenges student teams to create innovative building designs that address real-world issues, including climate change, environmental justice, and affordability. 

The Eco-Sooners first started the competition in Fall 2022 and submitted a project brief in November. After receiving feedback on their design ideas, the team presented their updated project to the jury and was officially selected as a finalist on February 25, 2023.  

The team proposed a retrofit model for renovating houses in the historic districts of Oklahoma City. The retrofitting process involves changing or adding to an already existing structure to improve its overall performance. For this project, these OKC homes would be adapted into an affordable, healthy, and energy-efficient habitation space for Senior Oklahomans.  

The Eco-Sooners team comprises of eight Ph.D. and master’s students from Interior Design, Construction Science, and Architecture. The members are Zhina Rashidzadeh, Salma Akter, Ramtin MSadeghi, Abhay Chavan, Anthony Washington, Nameethae Ganapathiseril Baburaj, Richa Adhikari, and Callie Appleyard. The team will compete with over 97 collegiate institutions in this year’s competition, under the supervision of their faculty leader Dr. Negar Matin, a professor of Interior Design.  

The team also collaborated closely with its academic consultants Dr. Shideh Shadravan, Ron Frantz, Dr. Suchismita Bhattacharjee, and Dr. Somik Ghosh. In addition, Eco-Sooners has a partnership with EightTwenty Company as their Industry Partner and Ideal Homes as their Design Partner. 

The team will present their final project at the Department of Energy campus located in Golden, Colorado from April 20-23. We wish the best of luck to the OU Eco-Sooners Team in this competition!