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Dinoflex helps Canadian Team place in 2018 Solar Decathlon

In the heat of competition and a sweltering summer typhoon 22 teams convened in Dezhou, China to compete in the 2018 Solar Decathlon. Known as China’s “Sun City”, Dezhou hosted teams from all over the world. Among them, a sole Canadian team comprised of students and faculty from McGill and Concordia universities. Armed with over two years of planning and preparation, and carefully selected building materials, including over 200 NuVista tiles donated by Dinoflex, the interdisciplinary team set out to build their solar powered, net-zero energy home.

Front facade of Team MTL solar powered, net-zero energy house. Built for Solar Decathlon 2018 in Dezhou, China.

First held in Washington, D.C., U.S. in 2002 the Solar Decathlon is an international collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. The competition encourages innovation using solar energy, energy conservation, and architecture design to create fully realized residences. The technologies and solutions demonstrated in Solar Decathlon projects help propel residential building into the future while giving participants hands on experience for work in the clean energy sector.

For the roughly 40 person team dubbed ‘Team MTL’, the trials of long days and bad weather didn’t stop them from powering through the build. In spite of the heat, TeamMTL kept their cool, completing their ‘Deep Performance Dwelling’ in just 23 days. Taking first place in the categories of Architecture, Communication, and Market Appeal, with third place wins in the Engineering and Innovation categories the team couldn’t be more thrilled.

Benjamin Wareing, architecture lead for Team MTL and a PhD student at McGill gave us is account of the trip.

solar decathlon; net-zero; dinoflex tiles; siheyuan; sideHouse


“The competition in China went well […], it was an extremely intense 23 days of construction – we worked 12-16 hour days in 40 degree heat at points, also powering through a typhoon, other torrential downpours and other surprises on site,” says “We managed to finish on time and we won first place in the Architecture contest, first place in Communications, and first place in Market Appeal, as well as thirds in Engineering and Innovation. The exhibition area we created with the NuVista tiles was really well received by the competition juries, as well as the Evolution tiles of the mechanical room room – thank you so much for your support! ”


Team MTL’s Deep Performance Dwelling was recently showcased as one of the Hydro Quebec ‘Living Labs’ as part of their ongoing research on energy transition. You can read more about Team MTL and their Deep Performance Dwelling at teammtl.ca

Interior of the net-zero energy home built by Team MTL for the 2019 Solar Decathlon in Dezhou, China.