Solar Decathlon China: Green Building Olympics

Here at EarthTechling, we eagerly follow each annual installment of the U.S. Solar Decathlon, which brings student teams from around the country head-to-head to design the best solar-powered home. In 2007, the U.S. and Spain got together to bring the competition overseas with Solar Decathlon Europe, and now, we’re pleased to bring you news of an even bigger international version of the competition, Solar Decathlon China (SD China).

This competition will feature teams from 15 Chinese universities, as well as 20 international institutions of higher ed, in a total of 22 teams (some of which represent collaborative efforts). The international teams hail from 13 countries, including the U.S. (Florida International University), Turkey (Middle East Technical University), Iran (Abbaspour University of Technology), Israel (Tel Aviv University), the U.K. (London Metropolitan University), Australia (University of Wollongong), Switzerland (Berne University of Applied Sciences), Sweden (Chalmers University of Technology), and Singapore (National University of Singapore).

Solar Decathlon, Rice University

image via U.S. Solar Decathlon

Organizers for the 2013 SD China met recently to hold a schematic design review workshop focusing on reviewing and guiding the evolving designs of the competing teams. This workshop reviewed each design for its solar energy collection, efficiency of use, energy saving, energy balance, indoor environment, building technology and market potential to give each team a better picture of the integration of solar energy, energy saving and architectural design in their designs. The workshop stressed the need to build living spaces that offer “sound and complete functions,” as well as comfort and sustainability.

Which team will take top honors in this international competition? That, of course, remains to be seen–but with so many innovations in renewable energy coming out of China and Southeast Asia these days, we imagine teams from elsewhere will face some stiff competition.

The event’s Organizing Committee is also currently  accepting submissions for the slogan and mascot for this event from international designers and creatives. More information is available online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.