The contest provides insight to systems and house design excellence. It aims to present how the finalised buildings and the process that has led towards their realisation contributes to energy efficiency. The buildings reduce energy consumption while maintaining maximised functionality and efficiency of all house components.
Teams must underline the climate adaptations they have carried out in the prototypes originally designed for specific local contexts. Teams must be very clear about design elements or systems that have been added to their houses. The Decathletes have continuously used energy analysis tools and techniques to iteratively “fine-tune” the housing unit design, in order to develop detailed system designs.
Teams demonstrate how well the design of the house and its systems serve as catalysts for positive-energy buildings, with a goal of optimising living conditions in their local context and climate. The envelope, materials, construction solutions; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; lighting and hot water – all of these enhance efficiency, reduce consumption, and influence the inhabitants’ awareness, habits and daily tasks. Teams report simulations that influenced the house design process, HVAC selections and final calculations. The adopted design criteria show where and why passive (using only the sun’s heat) or active (supported by technical features) systems have been chosen for energy conservation strategies.
The projects are evaluated based on the Team’s energy design and analysis processes, as these are influenced by simulations. The structures’ flexibility and possibilities for reuse, adaptability to future questions and energy-saving methods are also fundamental. The house performance measuring thermal simulations (ventilation, annual comfort temperature, humidity, internal gains) are compared using a common calculation. The jury places special attention on coupling housing and mobility, observing how energy production can support vehicles that could also perform as storage (20% of the Competition points).
The innovation aspects include the active and passive technical contributions. These maximise the energy efficiency of the house and the methods that improve its hydrothermal, environmental, lighting and acoustic values, thus promoting liveability and ideal functioning. Both Innovation and Energy Efficiency contests are influenced by innovative concepts of building systems, equipment, functioning, and building-mobility coupling.
Teams do their best to show what efforts they have made to create maximised energy efficiency and productive homes. Monthly and yearly results are presented in both numeric and graphical forms.