BROOKLYN - Dozens of City Tech college students are building an energy-efficient, self-sustaining house as part of a competition.

Sixty student helped design the "net zero energy model home" at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and it is nearing completion. The house is for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015, which is a two-year competition featuring colleges from across the world.

The one-of-a-kind house features solar panels on the side as opposed to its top. The students say the design choice would allow developers to build additional units on top.

The students cite the house's modular units as its primary challenge. They say they are used to working with solid houses that remain in one place.

Organizers say the setbacks provide students with real-world learning experiences. They say that when the students encounter a problem that doesn't correlate with the blueprints on their computers, they have no choice but to create an alternate solution.

The completed house will be shipped to Irvine, California, where the decathlon is held from Oct. 8-18.

After the competition, the home is expected to be donated to a veteran in need.