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Solar Decathlon 2013 Teams to Use United States National CAD Standard™

Tuesday, October 16, 2012  
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Student teams competing in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon 2013 will be able to ensure their documentation is professional and easily understood now that the publishing partners of the nation’s leading computer-aided design (CAD) standard have given the teams complimentary licenses to the United States National CAD Standard™.

The American Institute of Architects, the Construction Specifications Institute and the National Institute of Building Sciences—publishing partners of the NCS—agreed to provide all 20 teams and the two Solar Decathlon 2013 organizers with complimentary licenses to use NCS Version 5 online.

"The organizers require the students to substantially meet the NCS to ensure that the documentation is consistent, professional and easily understood by the public, organizers, juries and other professionals reviewing the documentation," said Joseph Simon of DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, one of the event organizers. "Having access to the NCS will help them meet that goal and prepare them for future work in the industry."

The Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Sponsors support the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon through in-kind contributions that are based on a list of needs determined by event organizers. Sponsors can also work with individual teams directly by providing in-kind donations, cash contributions and other resources.

"The Solar Decathlon depends on the valuable support of our many sponsors," said Richard King, director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. "Sponsorships help ensure that the Solar Decathlon provides a rich learning experience for the student decathletes and educates the public about the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits presented by clean-energy products and design solutions."

The next Solar Decathlon will take place at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. Open to the public free of charge, the competition houses will be open to visitors on eight days over two weekends from October 3-13, 2013. The Solar Decathlon enables visitors to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today. For more information about the Solar Decathlon, visit

About the American Institute of Architects
Based in Washington, D.C., the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners since 1857. The AIA mission is to be the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society. For more information, visit

About the Construction Specifications Institute
The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) is a national association dedicated to improving the documentation, management and communication of building information as used by the construction community. CSI accomplishes its mission through the development of construction standards and formats such as MasterFormat and UniFormat; the promulgation of those formats through master guide specifications and building information management (BIM) software; training and certification programs, including the Construction Documents Technology (CDT) and Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA) exams; publication of Construction Specifier magazine; and an ever-expanding membership of decision-makers who identify and specify building product solutions. CSI members include a cross-section of specifiers, architects, contractors, suppliers and other construction project professionals who are touched by construction documentation. For more information, visit, or call 800.689.2900.

About the National Institute of Building Sciences
The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), authorized by Congress in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology. For more information, visit

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