The challenge to the 21 teams competing in the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 is in 24 months to safely and effectively design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are energy-efficient. In addition they should be attractive, and have the necessary customization to adapt the house designs to the heat, dust & high humidity experienced by the ME region during part of the year.

Competition designs must be sustainable for the Middle East Climate Zone based on temperature, humidity, aerosol, heating and cooling degree-days. The climate in the Middle East is diverse and the designs will have to adapt to solve specific issues across the region.

The winner of the competition is the team that best blends innovation and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Competing solar houses will be evaluated on the basis of 10 separately scored contests, each containing one or more sub-contests.

1: ARCHITECTURE Aims to: assess the coherence of the design, the flexibility of space, the integration of technologies and the incorporation of energy efficient strategies, to assess the general coherence of the projects and its alternatives in relation to spatial and environmental factors of The Middle East region.

2: ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION Aims to: assess the construction and engineering systems, design merit and implementation. Teams will have to demonstrate the higher level of functionality of the house structure, envelope, electricity, plumbing, HVAC and solar system and their adequate overall integration.

3: ENERGY MANAGEMENT Aims to: evaluate the house’ electrical energy self-sufficiency, management and reduction of energy consumption. The evaluation is based on the collected data of the different electric energy flows by the organization’s monitoring system during the competition period.

4: ENERGY EFFICIENCY Aims to: evaluate the functionality and efficiency of the house design, systems and components, in addition to their contribution in reducing energy consumption. A multidisciplinary jury of engineering specialists will evaluate the associated deliverables, in addition to on-site evaluation of the house.

5: COMFORT CONDITIONS Aims to: assess the capacity for providing interior comfort through the control of temperature, humidity, lighting, indoor air quality, and acoustic comfort.  The evaluation will be based on the collected data by monitoring systems during the competition.

6: HOUSE FUNCTIONING Aims to: evaluate the house functionality and the efficiency of the selected appliances in order to maximize the performance of the house, while complying with the demanding standards of present day society. This contest tries to reproduce the average energy use in a modern home.

7: SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION Sustainable Transportation contest in the Solar Decathlon Middle East simulates the driving patterns of a typical household. In this contest, teams should drive an electric vehicle charged from their house’s electric system several times during the competition.

8: SUSTAINABILITY Aims to: evaluate the reduction of the negative environmental impact of the house design, systems and components, during manufacturing, house construction phase, life-cycle and demolition. Vegetation and Water Conservation initiatives will also be evaluated in this contest.

To assess the teams communication capacity to find creative, effective and efficient ways of transmitting the Competition relevant topics (sustainability, innovation and energy efficiency) as well as those ideas that define the team’s and project’s own identity.

10: INNOVATION Aims to: evaluate the degree of innovation of the house in the preceding contests, focusing on emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in the house, in its systems or in its components, which increase its value and/or improve its performance and efficiency.