Israel’s ‘Green’ House finishes fourth overall in world contest
Academics build a home that produces more energy than it consumes, and come in near the top in the Solar Decathlon
The final results are in, and Israel is officially a world power in environmentally sensible home design. Overall, Team Israel came in fourth in the biennial Solar Decathlon, a contest that pits design and technology teams from around the world against each other to see who can come up with the best “house of the future.”
Israel’s entry, an 85-meter modular house built of locally-produced materials, came in first in the “energy balance” category for homes that produce more energy than they consume. It also won the hot water production category, and was second in the architecture category and fourth in the market appeal category.
The results were announced last week in Datong, China, where the contest took place. Two Chinese teams — from the University of Wollongong and the South China University of Technology — came in first and second overall, while Team Sweden came in third.
The Solar Decathlon, a contest with 10 categories first held in 2002, is sponsored by the US Department of Energy. This was the first time the contest has taken place outside the US. The purpose of the contest, which is open to teams from universities and colleges around the world, is to encourage teams to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house.
Contestants build a model of their design, which is put on display at the contest site. Awards are granted for designs that make the best use of solar energy in such categories as architecture, market appeal, engineering, affordability, appliances and home entertainment. Team Israel, which included students and faculty from nearly a dozen Israeli academic institutions, was chosen last year in a semifinal event as one of 20 teams to participate in this year’s finals.
The Israeli house was built with a modular design, which will allow it to be expanded as necessary. The house, according to team leaders, was actually a modern take on a “house of the past, inspired by the typical Iron Age Israelite ‘four-room house,’ examples of which have been excavated at various archaeological sites in modern day Israel and around the Levant area.”
The house, a single-family dwelling, was to be built around an open patio, providing ventilation and light. The design stresses the connection of the indoor and the outdoor spaces, team leaders said, “increasing our awareness of the environment and reducing energy and resource dependence.”
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source: Times of Israel