Heriot-Watt named finalist in international solar powered house competition

A team from Heriot-Watt University has reached the final of an international competition to build a solar-powered house.

Heriot-Watt named finalist in international solar powered house competition

Team ESTEEM was declared as a finalist at the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai yesterday.

Created by the US Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2020 competition brings together universities from all over the world to design, build and operate a grid-connected, solar powered house.

Heriot-Watt is the only UK university to take part. Undergraduate engineering students Scot Calder, Jessica Haskett and Martin Juricek were selected to represent Team ESTEEM at the ceremony.

The house will be part of Word Expo 2020, which expects more than 25 million visitors over a six-month period - an exciting Global Platform for the university leading into its bicentennial year.

Associate professor in architecture and project lead for the Solar Decathlon, Alex MacLaren, said: “I am absolutely delighted for the team. They have worked hard on this project and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do in the final.

“I would also like to thank everyone for their support so far in this competition. We are lucky enough to have more than 30 companies and organisations who have pledged to support Team Esteem and we are looking for more sponsors and collaborators for this next step.

“I would ask anyone who would be interested in supporting us to get in touch.”

The competition consists of ten contests, which focus on architecture, engineering and construction, energy management, energy efficiency, comfort conditions, house functioning sustainable transportation, sustainability, communication and innovation.

The solar decathletes draw on all their strengths, including design and architecture, engineering and performance, and education and promotion. The teams rely on expertise from many disciplines as they spend months fundraising, planning, designing, analyzing, and finally building and improving their houses. Future engineers work with future architects to create affordable, energy-efficient houses.

The houses use solar energy as the only energy source and are equipped with all the technologies that permit maximum energy efficiency. During the final phase of the competition teams assemble their houses in a main expo area, open to the general public, while undergoing the 10 contests of the competition - the reason for which this event is called Decathlon.

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