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Appalachian’s Entry to Solar Decathlon Europe Places Ninth Overall at Competition in Versailles, France

by Madison V. Fisler

July 14, 2014. Over the weekend, the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) competition came to a close, and Appalachian State University and the Universite d’Angiers entry, Maison Reciprocity, took ninth place overall. In addition to an overall finish in the top ten, Team Reciprocite received first place in the “Electrical Energy Balance” category. 

The competition featured 20 houses from teams of universities from all over the world. The team’s house competed against 19 other houses in the international solar home building competition, which challenged student teams from around the world in juried contests such as sustainability, energy efficiency, communications and architecture.

The team’s journey to Versailles began in the fall of 2013, when construction officially began on the design. With more than 1,400 students involved in the project in some way, the house was a major undertaking. 

The idea for the “Maison Reciprocity” was a multiple story structure, where one story would house commercial property, one would hold habitable spaces, and flex and greenspace would be included at the top.

Though the structure itself is extremely important, the idea was to create a “24-hour community,” where the structure would be used in different ways at different parts of the day.

The total competition scores for Maison Reciprocity is as follows:

  • Architecture: 90 points (#8)
  • Energy Efficiency: 65.31 points (# 12)
  • Comfort Conditions: 94.29 points (#11)
  • Communication and Social Awareness: 71 points (#4)
  • Innovation: 57.67 points (#11)
  • Engineering and Construction: 52 points (#15)
  • Electrical Energy Balance: 101.75 points (#1)
  • House Functioning: 91.02 points (#10)
  • Urban Design, Transportation and Affordability: 81.88 points (#13)
  • Sustainability: 56 points (#11)
  • Bonus: 16 points (#7)

The Solar Decathlon began in 2002 after an initiative taken by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Solar Decathlon is an award-winning competition that unites the greatest universities from all over the globe by challenging them to create, design and build full-scale, functional solar powered houses. 

For more information about Solar Decathlon Europe, click here

Check out photos below.

Photos courtesy of Team Reciprocite.