Team Rhome from Rome’s Universitá Degli Studi di Roma TRE is the winner of Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, the international competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house.
The team’s "RhOME for denCity" received first place overall in the final award ceremony of the competition last weekend in Versailles, France. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production.
The 65-square-meter house is made of high-tech eco-certified wood, with natural and state-of-the-art artificial lighting, and with a strong focus on indoor air quality for optimized comfort and health.
“It's a success not just for us, but for Italy as well, proving we can produce innovation and beauty,” said Chiara Tonelli, a professor of architecture at Roma Tre and the leader of the team of 40 teachers and students who have made the prototype for Rhome Dencity. “We have built a house capable of meeting the challenge: to live according to environmental-friendly principles in more and more densely populated cities. Our goals was to build not just a dream, but a sober building, which can be replicated at a low cost, provide more energy than it consumes and stimulates neighborhood activities by strengthening social cohesion.”
The Solar Decathlon competition was devised with the purpose to educate students and the public about the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits presented by clean-energy products and design solutions.