A team of US students has won a competition in Madrid to design and build the best house run only by solar energy, the organisers said. The "Lumenhaus" of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University beat 16 other competitors from seven countries to win the Solar Decathlon Europe award. The contestants had 10 days to construct "real, sustainable, self-sufficient and comfortable houses exclusively sustained by solar energy", it said in a statement on Sunday.
The jury, made up of experts in architecture and solar systems, decided the Lumenhaus was "the most efficient" of the 17 entries. It "presents an open distribution that connects the inhabitants of the house with the external environment". About 190,000 people have so far visited the "solar village" on the banks of Madrid's Manzanares river where the houses are on display, the statement said.
Solar Decathlon Europe was taking place in Europe for the first time. It is organised by the US Department of Energy and was staged in the US in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2009. In Madrid, there were five teams from Spain, two from Germany, two from France, two from the US, two from China, one British and one Finnish.
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