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About the OCSD

Building A Better Future

The Need for Sustainability​

Imagining the Future of California

California has reached a tipping point and the need to mitigate climate change is clear. We need resilient, sustainable housing. In addition, with the rising cost of living in California, we need more affordable homes.

Above all, we cannot accomplish this without an engaged public.

For this reason, we are proud to announce the inaugural Orange County Sustainability Decathlon. Nearly 20 college teamsmany from California, others from across the worldare currently designing innovative homes of the future that are powered by renewable energy. The teams will assemble and display the homes at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, CA, at a major public event October 5-15, 2023.

Officials will evaluate the homes based on 10 contests. The winners will be those teams that best blend affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal renewable energy production, energy efficiency, and sustainability. 

We cannot wait to welcome you to the OC Fair & Event Center next year.


Fred Smoller
Fred Smoller (President and CEO) has been working to get the Orange County Sustainability Decathlon up and running for several years. Fred is an Associate Professor of Political Science and has been on the Chapman faculty since 1983. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University. Smoller was instrumental in bringing the U.S. Solar Decathlon to Orange County in 2013 and 2015. Named one of Orange County’s 2021 Most Influential by the OC Register, Fred is also the author of the book From Kleptocracy to Democracy: How Citizens Can Take Back Local Government (2018). Now, his dream of a decathlon that focuses on green, affordable, sustainable housing is coming true as well.
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Michael A. Moodian
Michael A. (Mike) Moodian (Chief Communications Officer) is a longtime Orange County-based researcher and community leader. Mike wrote, coproduced, and codirected the documentary "Coastal Crisis," which explores the causes and effects of coastal erosion on California’s beach communities. He has received three separate appointments by two different California governors to serve on a state ethics commission. Mike earned a doctorate degree in education from Pepperdine University as well as a master’s degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton. He was named (along with Fred Smoller) one of Orange County’s Most Influential by the OC Register in both 2021 and 2022, and he serves on the Providence Mission Hospital governing board. A longstanding champion of the planet, Mike is rising to the needs of the community and looks forward to tomorrow's innovations.
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Mike Wassmer
Mike Wassmer (Competition Director) is a licensed professional engineer who designs, implements, and manages technical aspects of collegiate home design competitions. During his eight years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, Mike was the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Competition Manager. He also designed and administered the world’s first decentralized, collegiate zero-energy home design competition for The Research Council of Oman. With his extensive experience installing research-grade energy monitoring systems, Mike is right at home contributing to the success and prestige of the Orange County Sustainability Decathlon.
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Kristina Lamb
Lamb (Event Director) is an alum of the U.S Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in 2015 with Team Orange County. She received her bachelor's degree from Chapman University in communication studies and was awarded Bill Womack’s Most Inspirational Award by Dr. Lisa Sparks. Her experience in the sustainability industry was further enriched during her time with Tesla, where she contributed to regional pilot programs that expanded to national campaigns for marketing, operations, and sales. Kristina has a true passion for sustainability and is looking forward to bringing her visions for a better future to life in the coming years.
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Event Overview

The California Legislature adopted the bold and commendable goal of being 100% reliant on renewable energy by 2045. To achieve this, we must harness the creative energy of students and rich resources within the academic community.

The Orange County Sustainability Decathlon is an exciting new competition that promises to motivate and empower California’s best and brightest to lead the state’s transition to 100% renewable energy.

OCSD23 challenges multidisciplinary teams of students, researchers, architects, engineers, builders, entrepreneurs, and innovators to design and build replicable housing units that aim to accelerate sustainable development throughout the state.

Become a Sponsor

Your contributions are tax-deductible. OCSD23 is a Charitable Ventures project.