Students from eleven countries faced each other during the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
What a ride! The very first Solar Decathlon Middle East is history and we can look back to an exhilarating event. During the competition period in November 2018, Teams from all over the globe came together with one common goal: to win SDME18! They exhibited top-notch houses celebrating energy-efficiency and resource responsibility on the grounds of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
The Teams had to defy some of the most challenging climate conditions —high temperatures, high humidity and dust— that are part of the day-to-day lives of Middle Eastern citizens. All projects sought to respond to these climatic, but also cultural and social contexts of the Middle East. Putting it like Billie Faircloth who was part of the Architecture jury; it was a truly eye-opening experience to see the students explore and demonstrate technologies that should be broadly embraced in order to increase the function, performance and beauty of architecture.
The overall first place was awarded to Team Virginia Tech (U.S.A.) with their FutureHAUS project. A house that addressed two very important upcoming realities. One, the radical rise of the world population and its subsequent need to provide affordable housing, but also the recent onset of the digital age giving the opportunity to better integrate newer, smarter, and more energy efficient systems. Second place was for Team UOW (Australia and Dubai) with the Desert Rose house and third place was for Team BaityKool (a multicultural team, mainly, but not only, including students from France, United Arab Emirates and Palestine).
Congratulations to the winners and all decathletes that for two years were unconditionally committed to showcase innovative ideas , which inspire new ways of living and building. The SD community will be on the look out for the next SDME event scheduled for 2020!
For impressions of the SDME18 event, visit their official Youtube Channel: