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The first 'Fair Energy Transition' Award

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The launch of the Nearly Zero Energy challenge Project was an opportunity to present the first Social Housing Meets Solar Decathlon Europe 'Fair Energy Transition' Award.

The Jury, made up of social housing practitioners as well as representatives from the United Nations Economic Committee for Europe and Building Performance Institute Europe were asked to review the Solar Decathlon Europe entries from the perspective of social housing providers.

The launch of the Nearly Zero Energy challenge Project was an opportunity to present the first Social Housing Meets Solar Decathlon Europe 'Fair Energy Transition' Award.

The Jury, made up of social housing practitioners as well as representatives from the United Nations Economic Committee for Europe and Building Performance Institute Europe were asked to review the Solar Decathlon Europe entries from the perspective of social housing providers. The criteria chosen were affordability, user and management friendliness and possibility to use in multi-family blocks in an urban environment. Jury members found it very difficult to choose the winners as each project had unique points.

There were two special mentions for hot climates: the first was the 'Med in Italy' from Rome. The reasons cited by the jury for their selection in this case were:

Affordability, Seismic considerations, new way of achieving thermal mass;

Modularity to build in blocks;

Concept for multi-family homes to tackle urban sprawl;

Maximum use of passive systems;

Not very technical – user-friendly.

 

Second special mention – CEU Team Valencia Spain for the following reasons:

Affordability; Flexibility and modularity which is important for social housing; System linking solar, heat pump, battery and grid – Solar thermal sensitive for cloudy days; Good visualization for residents – linked with app for I phone ( open source); Outside maintenance; Good energy production performance. The winning team selected by the Jury was Canopéa Nano towers in the City – Team Rhone- Alpes

Holistic Urban Approach;

Grids for heat and energy connected – good for winter and summer;

Is is the only project with heating (via district heating) which is needed in colder climates;

Waste – separated and disposable from top of tower;

Mobility – use for cars and this also serves for storage;

Social connectivity, common space.

The Canopea representative gave his perspective on why their project had been selected:

Collective space: "We are designing nano towers.They include a wide range of collective space or shared space. I think this is a key point for social housing and social context. This is a space where people can gather with neighbours."

Affordability: "Our goal is to reach a construction cost between €1,800 and €2,200 per square metre for a very efficient dwelling. It is affordable housing and also we have to consider the mobility costs because we are in urban territory. The Canopea inhabitants are not car dependent so they strongly reduce their mobility budget." Adaptability to hot and cold climate: "The Rhone Alpes continental climate is characterized by warm summers and cold winters. Our bio-climatic design is adaptable to both hot and cold climate and also as we are working at city scale, we have a city network such as 'the thermal loop' which provides the basis for warm water, domestic hot water production and for heating. So we have a whole series of resources including photo voltaic and also the biomass co-generation station using local wood, so it is renewable".

All 3 teams kindly presented their projects at the Symposium before welcoming the participants on visits to the houses in the Villar Solar.

The next Solar Decathlon Europe will be held in Versailles, France in 2014. CECODHAS Housing Europe is looking forward to continued collaboration to further enshrine a social dimension in the competition.