Cooper’s Solar Decathlon Team at the 22nd Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Final Competition

POSTED ON: May 16, 2024

Students during their presentation at Design Challenge Final Competition

Cooper students during their presentation at 2024 Design Challenge Final Competition.

Engineering students Larry Zheng CE’26, Amelia Roopnarine ME’25, Lawrence Zeng CE’26, Mizanul Hoque ME’, and Vito Di Gregorio CE’26, alongside architecture students Abraham (Bram) Cherner ARCH’26, Kyle Ku ARCH’26, and Miao (Miles) Xue ARCH’26, showcased their project at the 2024 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Final Competition held at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. They were accompanied by Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Melody Baglione.

The Cooper Union Solar Decathlon team advanced to the finals in the Multifamily Building Division after excelling in the 2024 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Semifinals in February. This competition tasks collegiate teams with creating innovative, high-performance building designs addressing climate change, affordability, and environmental justice.

Their latest project focuses on designing a new seven-story building for Sure We Can, New York City's only nonprofit and homeless-friendly bottle redemption center. The building design integrates photovoltaic panels on the roof for zero energy consumption, a rainwater collection system, community gardens, and a community hub serving local neighborhoods. Its innovative facade functions as both a light barrier and solar heat gain enhancer, providing natural ventilation in summer and thermal efficiency in winter. 

Despite not being selected as the winner in the Multifamily Building Division, the Cooper Union Solar Decathlon team remains grateful for the opportunity to contribute to sustainable design solutions addressing pressing societal challenges such as climate change and housing affordability. Their commitment to excellence in interdisciplinary collaboration continues to drive their efforts in pioneering sustainable building practices for a brighter future.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.