Cutting-edge green buildings reach Dubai with solar decathlon

The world’s largest, most competitive collegiate competition to design high-performance buildings, powered by renewable energy, will be reaching Dubai.

The Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) will take place in Dubai in November 2018, coinciding with Dubai Design Week. The event will see 21 teams from 36 universities across 15 countries competing for cash prizes of approximately US$2.5 million. This is the first time that the competition will be held in the Middle East and Africa.

The student teams will design, build, and operate sustainable, cost- and energy-efficient models of solar-powered homes. The focus will be on environment-conscious design that takes the region’s climate into consideration.

Members of the public will be able to view the designs, which will be showcased from November 14 to 29, 2018, at the competition’s venue – Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the world’s largest single-site solar energy project that will provide a quarter of Dubai’s total power output by 2030.

Shortlisted teams from the Middle East include Ajman University of Science and Technology, the American University in Dubai, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, New York University Abu Dhabi, the American University of Ras Al Khaimah and The Petroleum Institute and Zayed University. Judges for the competition will include officials from Dewa, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Museum of the Future, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Ministry of Energy in the UAE, and the UAE Cabinet.

Dubai will host two rounds of Solar Decathlon, in 2018 and in 2020, to coincide with Dubai Expo 2020. Recently designated as a UNESCO City of Design, Dubai is one of 24 cities around the world to have clearly demonstrated a commitment to using design as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

Solar Decathlon Middle East was created through an agreement between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and the United States Department of Energy.