Solar Decathlon Europe 2010: Towards Energy Efficient Buildings

From the introduction by William Gillett, Head of Unit for Renewable Energy, Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation European Commission, Brussels (page 8):

The EU is committed to the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, mainly by using energy more efficiently and by increasing the overall share of renewable energy up to 20% of the final energy consumption by 2020. In order to achieve these commitments, a legal framework has been set through the adoption of EU Directives on renewable energy and on energy efficiency. Yet, a lot more effort is needed by public and private organisations, as well as by individual citizens in order to honour these commitments through concrete investments and actions on the ground.

The Intelligent Europe – Europe [IEE] program aims at helping the EU to achieve its 2020 targets by supporting public and private organisations from different EU Member States, making them work together on projects which accelerate energy saving and encourage the use of renewable energy sources.

Today, buildings acoount for around 40% of energy use in Europe. It is therefore crucial to find attractive and affordable ways to reduce ‘conventional energy’ consumption in buildings.

Against this background, the IEE program is supporting the 10ACTION project, which goal is to broadcast the outcomes of the Solar Decathlon Europe competition so to raise awareness about energy efficiency and renewable energies in buildings. The 10ACTION project targets five different groups including children, teenagers, university students, professional businesses and the general public.

The Solar Decathlon produces exciting designs and concrete examples of how solar and other renewable energies can be used together with the latest energy efficiency measures in buildings. These projects already proved attracting a wide range of visitors to the Solar Decathlon Europe exhibition. We hope future visitors will spread the word to friends and contacts, and will be so inspired by what they have seen that, back home, they will replicate these ideas in their own houses, businesses, and regions.

By publishing this book, the 10ACTION project wants to reach a wider audience. By presenting in detail awarded buildings of the Solar Decathlon Europe, it aims at informing designers and building owners across the EU, as well as inspiring students who are just embarking on careers in the building sector.

The full text is available online at:

The University of Florida participated in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2010, constructing Project RE:FOCUS in Madrid, Spain.  For more information on that project, click here.