The Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

The Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 is an international academic architectural competition. To participate in the Solar Decathlon, universities and schools around the world compete to build a fully functional, full-scale house that uses only the sun as its source of power. This competition boasts 800 competitors from 16 countries in Europe who work to build 20 fully-sustainable houses. The Solar Decathlon Europe is based on the U.S. Solar Decathlon, which is hosted bi-annually by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Solar Decathlon Goals

There’s one primary goal of Solar Decathlon events across the world: improving education and research for solar energy and sustainable architecture. The Solar Decathlons encourage competitors to use revolutionary technology and ingenuity to create homes that may someday inspire the future of architecture. By bringing these ideas to life, we become one step closer to a more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly world.

Scoring System

The prototypes created by participating teams are open to the public. They are closely monitored throughout the entire process. Prototypes are judged based on 10 contests that award a possible 1000 points, and the team with the most points at the end of the competition wins.

The Solar Decathlon Europe scoring system includes the following 10 contest categories:

  1. Architecture
  2. Engineering and construction
  3. Energy efficiency
  4. Electrical energy balance
  5. Comfort conditions
  6. House functioning
  7. Communication and social awareness
  8. Urban design, transportation, and affordability
  9. Innovation
  10. Sustainability

This Year’s Competition

The Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 is taking place in Versailles, France. The contests will run from June 28 to July 14, 2014. The competitors had 18 months to create, build, and transport their prototypes to a specially-designed site in Versailles called La Cité du Soleil. This site was created to represent the city of tomorrow. La Cité du Soleil was built with an eco-responsible approach, with an environmentally-friendly study for control of transportation’s carbon footprint issues, energy consumption, water, and waste.

Energy-efficient Ventilation

Zehnder America is proud to provide energy-efficient ventilation to Team Réciprocité in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014. The team is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between Appalachian State University in North Carolina and Université d’Angers in Angers, France. Team Réciprocité is comprised of graduate and undergraduate students, industry partners, and experienced faculty mentors from both universities. Participating in the Solar Decathlon allows these college students to teach and learn together while working with professionals and professors.

Together, they are contributing to the development of sustainable communities and a more eco-responsible world.

Joshua Kantor