Delft Univ. takes 2nd place in sustainable construction contest

TU Delft's MOR team won 2nd prize at the Solar Decathlon Europe with their concept of turning inefficient offices into energy efficient homes, 28 July 2019
TU Delft's MOR team won 2nd prize at the Solar Decathlon Europe with their concept of turning inefficient offices into energy efficient homes, 28 July 2019. (Photo: MOR team TU Delft/Twitter)

A team of students from Delft University of Technology took second place in the Solar Decathlon Europe - an international competition for universities to build the most innovative and sustainable house. The Delft team was just 1.7 points behind the overall winner. 

TU Delft participated with team MOR, which stands for modular office renovation. Their concept involves converting inefficient office buildings into energy efficient homes. According to the team, the Netherlands faces two main issues - inefficient office buildings and a housing shortage.

"For example, around 55 percent of all offices in the Netherlands have an energy label lower than C and therefore perform poorly", architecture student and MOR team member Nienke Scheenaart said to Business Insider. "Due to a recent change in regulations, offices with an energy rating lower than C are banned from 2023. In addition, one million new homes must be built before 2030. Our prototype could help with this challenges."

For the Solar Decathlon Europe, the teams had to build a full-size prototype of their concept in 15 days, according to the newspaper. The Delft team's prototype was a full-size cut-out of an inefficient office that has been converted into a 50 mapartment with an inner garden of 25 m2. The team included 52 students from various technical disciplines. 

During the Solar Decathlon Europe, which was held in Hungary this year, the participating teams were assessed on 10 components, according to Business Insider. These included architecture, engineering & construction, energy efficiency and economic feasibility. Intermediate prizes were won in each component, and the results of each intermediate prize were added together to find the overall winner. Halfway through, the Dutch team was in the lead, but they were beaten on the last day. 

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