Romanian team awarded at Solar Decathlon Europe for sustainable house prototype
EFdeN, the only team representing Romania at the Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22, won three prizes with its solar house prototype, VATRA. Sixteen teams from Germany, the Netherlands, France, Taiwan, and other countries competed in this year's global competition held in the German city of Wuppertal.
EFdeN won 1st place for Comfort, 3rd place for House Functioning, and 1st place in the Public's Choice Award category.
"The youngest team in the competition, consisting of over 30 students, managed the performance of building a sustainable house that worked excellently during the competition and achieved the best indicators of energy performance and comfort conditions. The VATRA prototype thus becomes the most comfortable house in the world, based on the score obtained in the Solar Decathlon competition, ensuring optimal values for air quality parameters (temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds), but also the most appreciated by the general public, with the most votes received in the competition," reads the press release.
VATRA proposes a new model of sustainable housing, a modular concept, which is based on three modules of housing units and a greenhouse module - all these can be arranged and prefabricated depending on the number of inhabitants. The prototype is inspired by the hearth (vatra in Romanian) and encourages the formation of communities in a context where social isolation is becoming an increasingly pressing challenge in society.
The young EFdeN team developed the project from scratch - from research to design, site organization, transport and prototype reconstruction in Germany. It had the support of over 100 partners, with 50 companies from Romania financing the project, which amounted to over EUR 1 million.
The EFdeN team returned to Romania after 45 days of competition. The students rebuilt the house in less than 15 days, prepared for each judging, conducted over 300 visits with the public and gathered over 15,000 hours of teamwork, competition and development opportunities.
For now, the VATRA prototype remains in Germany on the competition site. The team needs further financial support to be able to bring back the house and to further develop revolutionary projects, which propose a breakthrough in sustainability and education in Romania.
The theme of the Solar Decathlon 21/22 competition addressed the regeneration of the built building stock and the existing infrastructure. The global competition analyzes students' proposals according to 10 criteria, from architecture and engineering and construction to energy performance, accessibility, comfort, functionality, and innovation.
(Photo source: EFdeN)