TU Delft team wins top honours at the Solar Decathlon 2014

The Pret-a-loger team from TU Delft won third place at the annual Solar Decathlon 2014, held in Versailles. The team also came first in specific categories of the competition.

Universities from all over the world presented full-scale solar powered houses at the event which was visited by 80,000 people over a period of two weeks. During the competition teams from sixteen countries and five continents displayed their houses along with a few other projects. Nick Kerckhaert, the marketing director, tells us about the intense competition.

Congratulations on winning third place. Tell us about the other categories you won.

We won the first prize in two contests: Communication & Social Awareness and Sustainability award, both of which we are very proud of. We came second in Energy Efficiency and Construction Management & Safety. All in all we are happy to have won the 3rd prize, but now the real challenge begins: retrofitting 1.4 million row houses in the Netherlands.


Your team has members from fifty-three countries. Did a global team bring a global aesthetic to the project?

The list is long: Bulgaria, Germany, Ecuador, France, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Italy, Korea, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Saudi-Arabia and the UK. Since every person brought their unique talents to the table, it helped making the project a more integral solution. Everyone used their own framework of references to make the project what it is now.


What was the vibe at the Decathlon?

Most visitors were very enthusiastic after they received a tour. The sense I got was that besides professionals from around the world, there were also there members of the general public who were was interested in sustainable living and building. The crowd was mostly French, although there were quite a few internationals as well. The vibe was positive, cheerful, and there were a lot of days full of celebration. All the students were proud to have finished their prototypes and that showed.


Was the competition close?

Yes, it was a very close competition. With only 2.76 (out of a maximum of 1.000) points between us and the eventual winner. We were actually first place before the last award ceremony started. During the ceremony however we lost too much ground to our two main competitors and finished 3rd. There were a lot of differences between the entries, which makes it hard to compare them. I liked the combination team from Chile/France a lot. Their story was strong (disaster relieve fast-to-build housing in Chile) and there house was nicely built. I liked the Barcelona Resso house from the inside a lot as well. They created a public space where everyone felt at home immediately. Something that made them win the Architecture award.


For more about pret-a-loger, visit their website.

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