10 Contests



Architecture | Contest by jury | 120 points

An attractive design is sought, which combines comfortable and functional spaces with bioclimatic technologies and strategies for reducing the house’s energy consumption. A jury of architects visits each of the houses, looking for a coherent and comprehensive project.


Engineering and Construction | Contest by jury | 80 points

This contest evaluates systems used by participating teams in building their houses, bearing in mind design, project commissioning and appropriateness of choice.  A jury of experts analyzes elements ranging from the structure of the building to its solar systems, on the basis of technical documentation and visiting the house.


Energy Efficiency | Contest by jury | 100 points

The cleanest energy is that which is not consumed. For this reason, the competition places special emphasis on teams covering house-dwellers’ needs, using minimum possible resources. The jury evaluates concepts such as the building’s thermal envelope, active and passive systems (such as sunlight, ventilation, etc.) of thermal conditioning, efficiency of electrical appliances, control systems, automation, etc.


Electrical Energy Balance | Measurement | 120 points

This contest evaluates the houses’ capacity for electrical self-sufficiency over a whole year.  Houses should reduce consumption to a minimum and produce electricity in quantities equal or greater than their consumption. The contest is divided into three sections which examine the electrical self-sufficiency of the house, the time correlation between generation and consumption, and consumption per unit of area. Evaluation is made on the basis of results obtained from bi-directional electricity meters installed by the Organization in each of the houses.


Comfort Conditions | Measurement-task completion | 120 points

This contest evaluates each house’s capacity to maintain environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, acoustics, air quality and illumination) suitable for the comfort of its inhabitants. Evaluation is made on the basis of results obtained from sensors installed by the Organization in each of the houses and also from an acoustics trial.


Functioning of the house | Measurement-task completion | 120 points

Checks are made on the possibility of performing normal everyday tasks, such as using electrical appliances and electronic equipment, producing hot water or simply inviting students from other participating teams to dinner.


Communication and Raising Social Awareness | Contest by jury | 80 points

This contest assesses teams’ ability to transmit to the public the basic concepts behind the SDE competition, as well as ideas contributed by their completed house along these lines, both during the period of prior design and during public visits to the Villa Solar.  A jury of experts studies the Communication Plan designed by each team over the two years of the house’s development and takes the same house tour as that on offer to the public, assessing it according to its effectiveness, efficiency and creativity.


Industrialization and Market Viability | Contest by jury | 80 points

This contest assesses if the house designed for competition by each team can be successfully transferred onto the property market. The jury of experts will take into account factors such as commercial appeal of the product, price of production, possibilities for prefabricating parts of the building and the design’s capacity for being adapted to other models of housing.


Innovation | Contest by jury | 80 points

Points are gained by teams who have made innovative solutions in various fields, ranging from architectural ideas to development of new materials and systems.  Jurors from other contests make separate evaluations of innovative features each in their own area.  The sum of these scores makes up the final score each team gains in this contest.


Sustainability | Contest by jury | 100 points

This contest considers the environmental impact of the house in its “lifetime” – that is  – from extraction and transformation of its materials, building procedures and use, to its demolition and re-cycling. Consideration is given to use of natural resources, possibilities for re-use and recycling, as well as to reduction in waste generation.

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