The results are finally in for this year's European Solar Decathlon competition. The Rhome for denCity project, by Italy's Team Rhome, has been declared the overall competition winner, while second and third places go to Philéas by France's Atlantic Challenge, and Prêt-à-Loger by Dutch team TU Delft, respectively. Gizmag was in Paris over the weekend to take a closer look at the prototype sustainable houses.

The winning spot was closely-fought and little separated the top three, points-wise. Rhome for denCity scored a total of 840.63 points out of a maximum 1,000, just edging out Philéas, which grabbed 839.75 points. Third-place Prêt-à-Loger, meanwhile, lagged slightly further behind with 837.87 points.

1st Place overall: Rhome for denCity

As we previously reported, the Rhome for denCity project by Team Rhome consists of a prototype top floor apartment that's part of a four-story housing complex destined for the Tor Fiscale district in Rome.

The European Solar Decathlon judges were clearly impressed with its use of adjustable solar panels, passive ventilation, and expandable design, and it serves as a potential blueprint for future sustainable urban housing projects of a similar nature.

2nd Place overall: Philéas

Philéas, by France's Atlantic Challenge, calls for the renovation of an abandoned building in Nantes, West France, called Cap 44. The building has some historical importance as one of the world's first reinforced concrete buildings, and dates back to 1895.

The team's proposal features a specially-designed wooden frame to adorn the Cap 44 building and support a number of greenhouses, which will allow food to be grown. In addition, several "breaches" are to be installed in the building's concrete facade in order to allow natural daylight to permeate the interior, and prefabricated 3D-printed wooden modules shall be used separate the interior into new spaces.

3rd Place overall: Prêt-à-Loger

Rather than producing a whole new house, Netherlands-based TU Delft's Prêt-à-Loger goes one better with a proposal to retrofit existing Dutch row houses with a "skin" that increases energy efficiency. The team estimates that it would be suitable for up to 1.4 million existing Dutch homes.

The skin features solar panels and a water circulation system that purifies waste water produced by the occupants. It also adds insulation and increases the energy performance of the home. Charging points are integrated to allow electric cars to charge, and the skin also has the additional benefit of not being too invasive to install – compared to a typical energy-efficient renovation, anyway.

Category Awards

In addition to the overall winner and runners-up, The European Solar Decathlon also featured six category awards winners in total:

  • Sustainability and Communications: Prêt-à-Loger, by the Netherlands' TU Delft
  • Architecture: Ressò, by Spain's Team Ressò
  • Urban Design, Transportation and Affordability: Orchid, by Taiwan's Team Unicode
  • Energy Efficiency: Philéas, by France's Atlantic Challenge
  • Engineering and Construction: Casa, by Team Mexico
  • People's Choice Award: Tropika House, by Costa Rica's TEC Team

Head to the gallery for a closer look at the overall winner, the runners-up, and each of the category awards winners in full.

View gallery - 50 images