Solar Decathlon Europe Winners

Virginia Polytechnic Institute's Lumenhaus for Solar Decathlon Europe 2010
Virginia Polytechnic Institute’s Lumenhaus.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Solar Decathlon Europe, hosted in Madrid, Spain, has concluded after 10 days of competition, with the last award ceremony announcing the winner of the competition. The house, LUMENHAUS, from the team from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, has been pronounced the most efficient of the competition, and following it in second and third place, respectively, were the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim and the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college named Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, Virginia Tech is now a comprehensive, innovative research university with the largest full-time student population in Virginia. Through a combination of its three missions of learning, discovery, and engagement, Virginia Tech continually strives to accomplish the charge of its motto: Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Inspired in the Farnsworth house by Miles Van Der Rohe, Lumenhaus house presents an open distribution that connects the inhabitants of the house and them with the external environment

The awards for the last two contests of the competition were given out. University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim with their solar house Ikaros, was the winner of the Electrical Energy Balance Contest. In this contest, the electricity self-sufficiency and the solar energy consumption efficiency of the houses have been evaluated. The University of Florida and the Ecole National Superieure d’Architecture de Grenoble came in at second and third place.

University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim was also given the Award for Appliances and Functioning. Throughout this contest, the houses’ functioning was been evaluated along with the efficiency of all equipment and appliances, simulating the daily function of a contemporary home. Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences and Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University took the second and third places in this competition.

The prize for Solar Systems has also been awarded. Fachochschule fur Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, with the house, Living Equia, is the winner for this contest. The jury, formed by Willi Ernst, Marcos Calvo Fernandez, and Christian Bongartz, has evaluated the functionability, efficiency, robustness, and economic value of the solar systems and the domestic hot water. Second and third place have been awarded to Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences and Arts et Metiers Paris Tech, respectively.

Also, two extra competition awards have been given out and even though they will not impact overall scoring, they symbolize some extra recognition for the teams in those areas that have not been considered in the competition.

From the beginning of the competition last June 18th, the public was able to vote online at for their favorite project. As a result, the Internet Award went to the University of Florida.

Lastly, the Public’s Choice Award was given to the Instituto Avanzado de Arquitectura de Cataluna and the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera after the Villa’s visitors casted their votes, during the competition’s 10 open days, for the house that they believed was the best solar home. Both awards, despite their inability to influence classification scorings, symbolize an extra recognition for the teams in areas that were not included in the official competition.

The Solar Decathlon Europe, organized by the Ministry of Housing with the collaboration of the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and the support of the US Department of Energy, says “adios” until 2012. 190,000 people visited the Villa Solar.

Seventeen university teams from seven countries and three continents participate in this competition constructing real, sustainable, self-sufficient, and comfortable houses exclusively sustained by solar energy.

The main sponsor of Solar Decathlon Europe is Saint-Gobain, along with contributions from Schneider Electric, Rockwool, Koemmerling, and FCC.

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