The 2014 European Solar Decathlon has come to an end, and the international student competition to design cutting edge solar houses has produced a winner: Team Rhome of Universitá Degli Studi di Roma TRE. Their house, called Rhome for denCity, received a mark of 840.63 out of 1,000 maximum points, edging out the runner-up proposals by a slim margin. Second place went to Philéas by France's Atlantic Challenge and third place to Prêt-à-Loger by TU Delft. Philéas received a score of 839.75 points, coming in only just short of the victors and first place winners Rhome for denCity. The first place Rhome for denCity house is designed as a top floor apartment in the prototype stage that is meant to be a part of a four-story housing project. The house efficiently uses solar panels to power the house whilst relying on natural ventilation to cool its inhabitants. Its design, albeit modest, is pleasant and the house itself could serve as an outline for future sustainable houses. The European Solar Decathlon also gave out six awards for the winners of certain categories such as architecture and engineering/construction. The Dutch team TU Delft took the award for sustainability and communications with their third place entry: Prêt-à-Loger. France’s Athletic Challenge also won in the category of energy efficiency with their second place entry, Philéas.
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For those of you who didn't get to the Solar Decathlon this year, never fear. AN was at the event, which for the first time was held on the west coast, at the Orange County Great Park. Impressive teams combined edgy design and futuristic sustainability, with, of course, an amazing work ethic. (What were you doing in college? We bet you didn't design and build a hi-tech house and build it in nine days on a former airplane runway.) Team Austria took home the top prize, but every home in the competition—from sleek metallic forms to heavy wood cabins—produced more energy than it used, and implemented handfuls of emerging technologies that you'll hopefully see in most homes in the next decade. AN took a visit to see the 19 homes in person. Take a look for yourself, and make sure to check out the next decathlon in two years.