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SAINT-GOBAIN Teams Up With The University Of Nottingham To Build Europe’s Most Effective Energy Efficient Home

Leading international construction materials company Saint-Gobain has agreed an exclusive partnership with The University of Nottingham’s Department of the Built Environment (DBE) to provide materials to build an energy efficient, zero carbon solar powered home to compete in the final of the first International Solar Decathlon Europe competition. Supported by the Spanish Government’s Ministry of Housing and the US Department of Energy, the final takes place in Madrid in June 2010.

Designed and built in the UK, the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E (Home Optimising the Use of Solar Energy) will show how low energy architecture can lend itself to the mass market with an L-shaped, modular design so versatile it can be worked into terraces, rows or stacked as apartments. The resulting concept is a highly marketable, zero carbon starter home for a new family – a major requirement in the UK.

Products from companies including Saint-Gobain Isover, British Gypsum, Weber, Saint-Gobain Glass, International Timber and Greenworks will be incorporated, providing total solutions to optimise energy efficiency.

A team of students from the DBE will take on 19 universities from around the world in the final where each house will be transported to Madrid, reassembled and connected to the grid. Students will be judged on ten separate areas including architectural merit, market viability, construction, solar systems, electrical energy balance, comfort conditions, communication of the project to a wider audience, household functionality, innovation and sustainability. During the final, students will also have to live in the home to demonstrate its effectiveness and energy efficiency.

Mike Chaldecott, chair of the Saint-Gobain Habitat Group and managing director of British Gypsum, comments: “Saint-Gobain is focused on the delivery of sustainable construction and our partnership with The University of Nottingham provides crucial support to the team, enabling them to showcase the best in innovation and design.

“Meeting new homes targets while also achieving a reduction in carbon emissions will be a key challenge for the construction industry over the coming years. The Government has pledged an extra £1.5 billion to build an additional 20,000 affordable homes over the next two years and has also announced plans to introduce a ‘clean energy cash back’ scheme, where households contributing electricity to the National Grid through methods such as solar power are set to be rewarded with financial incentives. As a result, we see concepts such as the Nottingham HOUSE playing a key role in the delivery of sustainable communities.

“Saint-Gobain is constantly researching and developing new ways of harnessing, conserving and generating energy and this project will show how companies within the Group can work together to offer total product solutions, demonstrating the breadth of expertise we can offer.”

Teams from the USA, Brazil, China, Mexico, Germany, Finland, France and Spain will compete in the final, which is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors.


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