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The Swiss Team convinced the juries, was awarded 873 points out of 1000 and won the Solar Decathlon Competition 2017.

SOLAR DECATHLON 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an academic competition of 10 contests that challenges student teams to design and build full-size, energy-efficient and solar-powered houses.

First held in Washington, D.C., in 2002, the Solar Decathlon has expanded to Africa, China, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East to involve more than 200 teams and 35,000 academic participants worldwide.

Solar Decathlon provides a unique hands-on experience and training to students preparing to enter the clean energy workforce, and renewable energy and energy efficiency education for the visiting public.

The Swiss team selected for the 2017 edition is made up of participants from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR), the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD) and the University of Fribourg (UNIFR). In the fall of 2017, the team took its prototype to Denver, Colorado, where they exhibited the design to professional juries and the general public.

After the competition, which the Swiss prototype named NeighborHub won, the solar house is brought back to Fribourg where it will be adapted to merge into the city. This pilot program has been designed to be tested in real context.

Some examples of houses built for the previous editions

10 CONTESTS WITH SCORES

ARCHITECTURE

A jury evaluates architectural concept and design approach, the implementation of the design and its innovative features, and required documentation for the project.

The Swiss Team wins the first place for this contest with 100 points out of 100.

HEALTH & COMFORT

Team houses must minimize the flow of cooled air in summer or heated air in winter to the outdoors, operate heating and cooling systems that keep temperature and humidity steady, all while maintaining healthy indoor air quality.

The Swiss Team wins the first place for this contest with 97 points out of 100.

MARKET POTENTIAL

Teams design a primary residence for year-round occupancy for a specific target client. A jury evaluates the overall attractiveness of each team’s design to its selected target client and the market impact potential of the house.

The Swiss Team stands in the last position for this contest with 60 points out of 100.

APPLIANCES

Designed to mimic the appliance use of an average U.S. home, teams earn points for operating their refrigerator and freezer, washing and drying laundry, and simulating cooking tasks and hot showers.

The Swiss Team wins the second place for this contest with 98 points out of 100.

ENGINEERING

A jury evaluates the engineering design and implementation of each team’s house based on the engineering approach, design, efficiency, and performance.

The Swiss Team wins the first place for this contest with 100 points out of 100.

HOME LIFE

Teams are required to engage in common household activities that use electricity. They cook and share meals with friends and neighbors, watch television, use computers, and host game nights. And, for five days, they “commute” at least 25 miles in an electric vehicle charged by the house solar electric system.

The Swiss Team wins the first place for this contest with 99 points out of 100.

COMMUNICATIONS

A jury evaluates each team’s communication strategies, materials, and efforts to educate, inform, and interest the team’s local communities, visiting public at the event, and diverse online audiences.

The Swiss Team wins the third place for this contest with 75 points out of 100.

WATER

New for 2017, a jury of industry professionals evaluates each team’s approach to water conservation, water use and reclamation, and landscaping water impacts.

The Swiss Team wins the first place for this contest with 95 points out of 100.

INNOVATION

New for 2017, a jury evaluates each team’s research, approach to sustainability, innovations for the target client, and durability and safety of innovative elements, while also evaluating whether the price is right for the target client.

The Swiss Team stands second to last for this contest with 48 points out of 100.

ENERGY

The Energy Contest evaluates each team’s energy production and a theoretical value to a utility of the energy each team both contributes to and takes from the Solar Decathlon electricity grid. For the first time, this contest includes real-time energy pricing.

The Swiss Team wins the first place for this contest with 100 points out of 100.