The 800-square foot structure is made mostly from recycled, reclaimed wood and engineered bamboo. It's outfitted with a rooftop of solar panels.
"It's great to prove that simple things that everybody can do can come together and make a well performing house," said Tim Moran, University of Illinois Graduate student.
The contest was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
A team from Germany won first prize.
All the houses will remain on the mall through the weekend so visitors can check them out.