Sustainable city of the future created by universities from across the globe at Palace of Versailles

A temporary micro-city of state of the art energy efficient homes has been built as part of The Solar Decathlon 2014 competition, where students from universities across the globe compete to design and build the most attractive, liveable, affordable and energy-efficient solar-powered home of the future. The city, ‘La Cite du Soleil,’ is being constructed on parkland at the Chateau de Versailles, France.

The houses the teams build must have a 70m2 footprint, and be self-sustaining in terms of energy production. The teams have 11 days to assemble their prototype buildings (with work initiated on 16th June and running to 27th June, with ‘La Cite du Soleil’ opening to the public on June 28th and closing on July 14th when the winners will be announced). The entire sustainable city will then be dismantled and the site restored to parkland.

ROCKWOOL Insulation is working with several teams taking part in the competition. ROCKWOOL is providing high performing stonewool insulation to five of the teams, and is also sponsoring and providing full technical support to two of them (Liv-Lib, designed by the Université Paris-Est, and Maison Reciprocity, designed by a joint US/French team from Appalachian State University and Université d’Angers).

Ensuring the structures are highly energy efficient is key, but the winner will also be selected based on the design and liveability of the final house. ROCKWOOL’s 4-in-1 insulation (which provides class leading fire protection, thermal insulation, acoustic protection and is durable and recyclable) is being used by the teams to create quiet, yet warm and efficient spaces and reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the buildings.

Sebas Veldhuisen, Manager Technical Marketing, ROCKWOOL stated:

“We are delighted to be part of this inspiring and interesting event which is all about creating sustainable, enjoyable homes for the future, which are good for people and for the planet.

“Standards of energy efficiency for houses differ wildly across the world and energy efficiency is still, too often, an afterthought in the design process. The Solar Decathlon shows that this need not be the case.

To coincide with the Solar Decathlon, ROCKWOOL is running a conference on ‘resilient buildings’ (on 8th July) with construction industry leaders invited to debate new ways in which homes can be made to perform better in long term energy efficiency and also to allow them to withstand impacts from flooding, storm and fire.

Speakers at the Resilient Buildings Conference will include: Emilio Miguel Mitre, architect and specialist sustainable building, GDCE; Erwin Daalhuizen, green finance consultant, Fakton; Peter Mensinga, building science consultant, ARUP; Professor John Straube P.Eng., University of Waterloo, Faculty of Engineering, consultant, Building Science Consulting Inc.; Sebas Veldhuisen, Manager Technical Marketing, ROCKWOOL International.

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