The Solar Decathlon is for today the most important international innovation competition in construction held among universities.
The goal of the competition is the publicity of such construction solutions that are related to the use of renewable energies – mostly solar energy – and innovative technologies through the projects of university teams.
The history of the competition
The first Solar Decathlon competition was held in Washington in 2002 for the initiative of the Department of Energy (DoE), US Government. The primary goal of the initiative is that based on the creativity and innovative skills of the young generation, researchers and developers should co-operate with industrial partners and sponsors. This way, they can design such innovative, energy-efficient houses that can be model homes demonstrating sustainability based on the use of renewable energies and conscious choice of resources.
General rules of the competition
During the competition, participants not only design buildings, they actually build the selected projects in the location of the current finals. Accordingly, a ’model house park’ demonstrating innovative dwelling-houses is created in Szentendre which can be visited by professionals and the public, too.
While the houses built during the competition are usually diverse in their appearance and characteristics, all of them are homes satisfying the typical needs of our era – viable, maintained in an environmentally friendly way/self-maintaining, people-centered. Furthermore, it merges the features of a modern, practical and sustainable (model)house in an aesthetic shape.
The competition of 2019
The SDE19 – Solar Dechatlon Europe competition was held in June in Szentendre on which 27 university teams participated from 8 countries.
The Habiter2030 Team (France) won the competition this year, coming from the National School of Architecture and Landscape of Lille, the second one was the MOR Team TU Delft (The Netherlands) and the third one was the Over4 team (Romania).
The winning team combined the rehabilitation possibilities of the remaining houses from the 1930s typical in the Lille region with environmentally friendly, modern technologies aiming sustainability which is built on the harmony of smart devices and simple solutions.
The panels fitted to the photovoltaic roof – enable the production of 2560 kWh/year, which is about the double of the electric consumption of a similar house from the 1930s.
The thermal solar vacuum tubes fitted on the facade of the glasshouse – the heated water is used in the sanitery.
The combination of the glasshouse with mechanical ventilation facilitates the passive heating, cooling and ventilation of the house.
The special building materials and technologies function in tandem with the intuitive home automatisation system that is developed according to the demands and lifestyle of the inhabitants.
The Hungarian teams
Two Hungarian teams participated on the competition, one of them is the team of Budapest University of Technology and Economics. They developed a novel method for the modernisation and renovation of the Hungarian building stock. This method is useful primarily for buildings in the suburban areas and rural locations.
The other Hungarian team was the common team of the University of Miskolc and the University of Pécs which was formed from the Algerian students of the Saad Dahlad University of Blida. Their building was aimed the modernisation of the ’Cube Houses’ typically present in rural areas, with innovative technologies.
For example, speech-based emotion detection and ’smart’ furniture made of recycled materials. The live flora placed in the «Venturi Atrium» and the patio are the self-sustaining oxygen base of the house. Active roof with threefold layer structure. Mobile sun space on the Southern side which provides energy for the house in the winter with its polycarbonate sliding wall as a solar shell.
The ’smart’ tools placed in the building – if the owner requires – are easily operable from one smartphone application.
You can read further details about the competition and the other projects on sde2019.hu.