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21 university teams from 15 countries show smart sustainable home models for the 1st round of the Solar Decathlon Middle East

Dubai, UAE:  The 2nd international workshop has concluded for the participating teams in the 1st round of the Solar Decathlon Middle East. The competition is a partnership between the Supreme Council of Energy and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) with the US Department of Energy, where Dubai will host 2 consecutive rounds, the first being in November this year and the second in 2020 in time for Expo2020. The total value of the prizes for the two rounds is over AED 20 million.

Organised by DEWA, the three-day workshop was attended by 21 teams from 36 universities in 15 countries. The team members met with the organising committee for the last time before the actual competition. Participants learned about the competition rules, assessment mechanisms, health and safety conditions, and other criteria that must be met in the homes that students will build during the competition. The teams presented miniature modules of the homes that will qualify in the competition. Team members visited the competition site of over 60,000 square metres at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The shortlisted teams for the final phase of the 1st round of the competition includes the ‘Spirit of the Union’ team from the Petroleum Institute and Zayed University, who want to develop a new smart home design that reflects the traditional Emirati house and at the same time meets the modern lifestyle. The ‘Know Howse’ team from the University of Sharjah and the University of Ferrara in Italy aim to rediscover a new dimension of the concept of living in a small, comfortable home that achieves environmental goals through rational resource consumption. The ‘ORA’ team from Heriot-Watt University Dubai aims to provide UAE homes with an innovative, flexible design using locally available materials that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs. The New York University Abu Dhabi team aims to experience new kind of agricultural tourism in the UAE with the use of traditional architectural elements. The ‘Jeel’ team from the American University of Dubai aims to design a unique life experience using innovative and eco-friendly technologies. The ‘Al Bayt Al Kamel’ team from the American University of Ras AlKhaimah is reviving the lifestyle of Gulf countries by providing a new contemporary interpretation of home spaces and traditional building technologies. The UOW team from the University of Wollongong in Australia and in Dubai is working on designing an innovative and sustainable home for old people to improve their quality of life, while providing intelligent solutions that enhance energy efficiency. The Aqua Green team from Ajman University promotes a comfortable lifestyle through the use of functional interiors, and smart and efficient appliances that are efficient to save and conserve energy. The KSU team from King Saud University, which includes students from different majors seeking to provide affordable and attractive solar homes. The SoLLite Salalah team from the Dhofar University, Oman, is designing an environmentally-friendly home that conserves natural resources, produces energy and adapts to the climate in the region. The ‘BaityKool’ team from the University of Bordeaux, France, and Amity University in the UAE, and An-Najah University from Palestine, aims to build a house that has a courtyard and open spaces, the basis of its eco-friendly design is that humans can live closer to nature. The ‘EFdeN’ team from Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, the Technical University of Civil Engineering in Bucharest of Romania,  and the Birla Institute of Technology & Science from the UAE, aim to build a sustainable house that provides a completely-new living experience with a model that can easily adapt to lifestyles due to its flexible design. The FutureHAUS team from Virginia Tech, USA aims to design and build modular structures that integrate smart technologies, energy-efficient systems and adapts to changing lifestyles. The ‘HAAB’ team from Gabriele D’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy, Pisa University and the University of Naples in Italy, aim to develop a design that combines the needs of well-being and of sustainability with optimal utilisation of natural resources and ease of use by People of Determination. The Sapienza SDME team from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, aims to highlight smart homes that are highly-efficient, solar-powered, comfortable, attractive and affordable. The ‘VIRTUe’ team from Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands aims to use a human-centred design which focuses on  the surrounding environment and changes the perception of sustainable urban living. The TDIS team from the National Chiao Tung University of Taiwan includes students and researchers in the field of innovation who seek to design smart green buildings that contribute to creating a greener future. The ‘MizanHome’ team from the Universiti Teknologi and Universiti Sains Islam in Malaysia`, consisting of students, academics and professionals with different skills and expertise, are committed to sustainability and promoting the responsible use of energy via the design of a fully solar-powered, net zero-energy building. The ‘Twist Box’ team from the University of Belgrade, Serbia seeks to use multidisciplinary techniques to achieve healthier lives in areas with rapid climate change and scarce resources. The Jordan team of the University of Jordan aims to design a scalable house suitable for Dubai’s lifestyle of large and diverse communities, which creates a balance in the nexus between the place and the environment. the ‘BGreen’ team from the National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan, aims to build a flexible solar-powered house that also can be used as a mobile home.

Solar Decathlon Middle East aims to encourage participating teams to design, build and operate sustainable models of solar homes that are cost-effective and energy-efficient, with a focus on environmental conservation and climate considerations. The teams compete in 10 different areas including: architecture, engineering and construction, energy management, energy efficiency, rest conditions, home function, sustainable transport, sustainability, communication and innovation.

Students can register for the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2020. For details, go to:


For more information, please contact:

Ribal Dayekh or Iman Saeed                         

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority                   

+971 4 307 2006 or +971 4 515 0512                                                                                                

Belkiz Fawzy or Eman Hussein

Hattlan Media

+971 50 714 6677 or +971 50 736 6990

© Press Release 2018

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