In this contest Teams prove that their dwellings’ state of the art technology can indeed provide a highly comfortable milieu for the inhabitants. As comfort has no single metric, there are five sub-contests, which represent the multiple variables involved: (1) temperature, (2) humidity, (3) natural lighting, (4) interior air quality (CO2) and (5) acoustic performance.
The Teams’ engineering specialists face a rather heavy period during the Competition weeks as they must ensure that the prototypes’ appliances and systems operate as they have been designed. There are two days when the houses use only ‘passive’ cooling or heating.
All relevant data is continuously measured by the on-site automatic monitoring systems. Some conditions are monitored in the bedrooms, i.e. temperature, relative humidity and CO2. Natural light and the acoustic performance (how fast sound fades away, the noise level of the HVAC) are primarily measured in the living room, with consideration for insulation from outside noise. To evaluate the impact on the neighbourhood, Teams have to anticipate the exchange of human sounds and artificial noise between collective housing units in all directions.
Most of the points are earned at the conclusion of each scoring period. Teams can lose points linearly for falling off optimal measurement levels. In terms of air temperature, the maximum score is given for keeping the spaces between 23-25°C. Optimal interior humidity lies between 40-55%. CO2 level has to stay below 800 ppm (parts per million) to receive the maximum points.
The houses maximise interior natural light for a comfortable setting without the use of any artificial support (Daylight Factor above 4%). In terms of the acoustic performance, the facade airborne sound insulation value has to be equal or higher than 42 dB for maximum score. The reverberation time that living room installations require to absorb sound has to be up to 0.8 second. The sound level produced by all HVAC and active equipment are measured in the most applience-demanding circumstances and has to stay below 25 dB(A) for maximum score (points given only below 35 dB(A)).
This is a highly accessible presentation for visitors upon entering as they instantly feel the achievements of the prototypes in their comfort levels. Discover the houses and observe solutions that facilitate extraordinary living conditions and do not hesitate to pose questions to the guides and Team members!