Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by M Hjälm

Italian team wins the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

An Italian team was awarded first place at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 which took place from 14th – 19th July 2014 in Versailles, France. The competition challenges university teams to build and run a full scale solar powered house, with houses being judged on a range of requirements including sustainability factors, architecture and comfort.

Photo courtesy of solardecathlon2014.fr

Photo courtesy of solardecathlon2014.fr

The RhOME for denCity project, which is the brainchild of the RhOME Team made up of professors and researchers from three departments of Università degli Studi Roma Tre, was selected as the overall competition winner out of 800 decathletes who participated in the 2014 competition. The international competition Solar Decathlon was launched in 1999 in the US, promoted by the Department of Energy of the Government of the United States of America. In 2010, the competition was also launched in Europe. In the 2014 competition, twenty university teams from all over the world faced each other in a sort of “Olympic Games of Sustainable Architecture” with the aim to design, build and simulate a real domestic life in a high energetic
efficiency residential building, exclusively powered by solar energy.

Photo by Lorenzo Procaccini via flickr.com

Photo by Lorenzo Procaccini via flickr.com

The RhOME for denCity project impressed the judges with its use of adjustable solar panels, passive ventilation, and expandable design. It also serves as a potential blueprint for future sustainable urban housing projects. Second place in this international competition went to the Atlantic Challenge team from the European Green Capital 2013, Nantes, France, for its Philéas house. Team Prêt-à-Loger from Delft University, Netherlands, placed third for its house, A Home With a Skin.

The Decathlon is based on a careful evaluation of 10 contests with a total of 1,000 points. The prototypes are open to the public and evaluated by a jury of experts, all from their specifically related fields. The contests are as follows:

1. Architecture
2. Engineering & Construction
3. Energy Efficiency
4. Electrical Energy Balance
5. Comfort
6. House Functioning
7. Communication & Social Awareness
8. Urban Design, Transportation & Affordability
9. Innovation
10. Sustainability

Between June and July 2014, the teams representing 16 nations and 3 continents, built their houses in La Cité du Soleil, the solar, smart village situated in Versailles. Every eco-house was then subjected to the 10 tests and the winner emerged with a great score of 840.63 out of 1,000.

To find out more about the competition please click here.