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R.E.A.L HOUSE Nominated 2017 Solar Decathlon China



The 2017 Solar Decathlon China, which has been reputed as the equivalent of Olympic Games in the field of global solar energy industry, announced the finalists recently. Offspring Team from Hunan University (HNU) was nominated for its design of “R.E.A.L HOUSE”. It will compete with other 21 teams from 10 countries in the finals held at Dezhou, Shandong Province. 

Solar Decathlon (SD) is an international competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002. The Solar Decathlon China was established with the signing of a MoU between the U.S. Department of Energy, China’s National Energy Administration, Peking University and Applied Materials on January 20, 2011. The first Solar Decathlon China was held in 2013.

The 2017 Solar Decathlon China has attracted 21 unite teams from 47 universities of more than 10 countries to participate in. Each team is required to design and build a double-decker, solar-powered house with the ground projected area of 120-200 m2. The house must aim for the permanent use of one single family. Every house must be equipped with all necessary household appliances such as TV, refrigerator, cooktop, dishwasher, washing machine and computer, and provide household electric vehicle as well as its matched charging device, while all appliances must be powered by solar energy. SD will evaluate the house’s cost feasibility, power efficiency, environment adaptability, and power generation capacity, etc. The outcome will be made based on the performance of all of the ten contests.

"R.E.A.L HOUSE” brings in natural ventilation by a courtyard structure. Heat-isolation courtyard walls, vertical planting and roof greening, integrated hermetic window, and double glass curtain wall jointly reduce heat loss. Domestic hot water is produced by solar-assisted heat-pump water heater. There are rainwater collection and water recycling facility installed. Solar panels on the roof and outer wall are able to provide electricity for the house. Intelligent control system monitors room temperature and humidity to control energy consumption.

The “R.E.A.L HOUSE” is in lightweight steel structure. Components of the house are prefabricated and assembled at the building site. The main walls, pillars, beams, doors and windows are modularized to adapt to being assembled and disassembled. In case of damage, furniture can be replaced with 3D printed substitutes.
The Offspring team, designers of the “R.E.A.L HOUSE”, is composed of over 20 students from College of Civil Engineering, School of Architecture, and College of Environmental Science & Engineering. It is led by Prof. Zhang Guoqiang of College of Civil Engineering and School of Architecture and Zhang Xianming from Broad Homes. More than 20 professors from related colleges have given guidance. During the preparation period for the finals, the Offspring will involve more members into the project.