Team VIRTUe in Dubai has started building its sustainable house

After 3.5 years of preparation, this week the VIRTUe student team started with the construction of its sustainable house in the desert near Dubai, representing the Netherlands in the international design competition 'Solar Decathlon Middle East'. The team has two weeks to finish the house. From 14 November the competition will officially start and the house will be judged on ten elements, with a total prize pool of approximately 2.3 million euros.

This week is the official start of construction, but problems with customs that did not want to release the containers seemed to throw a spanner in the works on Monday. Fortunately, the right documents were still able to be delivered on time, so that the eleven containers did eventually get placed at the construction site in the afternoon. At the moment the students are working hard to catch up.

The new living

The apartment of the student team, called LINQ, is designed to be used in existing neighborhoods and is full of innovative gadgets. The house not only reduces energy consumption without affecting the comfort of the occupants, but also focuses on the social sustainability of the neighborhood in which the apartment is located.

Through its shape, LINQ ® promotes social interaction, for example through shared spaces and a vertically planted atrium. In addition, the technology also promotes a sustainable lifestyle. For example, energy consumption can be monitored live via an app. There are also many smart features in the system. Suggestions are made, for example, to switch on the washing machine later, if the sky is expected to clear and the solar panels can capture more sun.

Solar Decathlon Middle East

The design competition in which Team VIRTUe is participating, the Solar Decathlon Middle East, consists of ten components, including architecture, energy management, living comfort and sustainable transport. During the competition, the house also has to charge a hybrid car. The student team has an asset in their hands here: they have taken along the Stella Lux solar car, which was developed by another TU/e student team. The expectation is that Team VIRTUe can score a lot of points with this.

Originally 47 teams participated in the Solar Decathlon, with 22 of these being allowed through to the final in Dubai. The competition lasts from 14 to 28 November, with the final and result taking place on the last day. There is an overall winner and category winners. The total prize pool is approximately 2.3 million euros. In total, 15 teams from 11 countries from all over the world are still participating.

The team from Eindhoven can be followed via and the various social media.