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Three Nilan solutions on their way to international construction competition

This year’s Solar Decathlon, an international university competition in low-energy construction, is attended by no less than three teams who have turned to Nilan for an indoor climate solution solution that will send them well on the way towards victory.

At the beginning of September, the 2012 edition of Solar Decathlon will take place in Madrid, Spain. The competition centres around university students’ suggestions to solar-powered, low-energy homes. 20 teams were shortlisted, and after several months of preparations, the teams are assembling their projects at the competition site these days.

An experienced contributor

The homes are designed from scratch by the teams, a process which includes choosing the components that are to make up the ideal solutions for these low-energy constructions.

Three of the teams turned to Nilan in their search for an energy-efficient indoor climate solution. All of them chose the passive house certified Compact P solution, which is a further development of the solutions that provided the heart and lungs of the winning projects at Solar Decathlon 2007 and 2009.

– Solar Decathlon encapsulates innovation and energy efficiency. Since a vital focus of our activities is to affect the development of low-energy products of the future, the competition is a perfect match to the cornerstones of Nilan’s raison d’être and our products. Participating again was thus an obvious choice, not least as it allows us to follow and affect the development of the construction industry towards an increased use of sustainable technology, states Brian Hansen, Nordic Sales Director at Nilan.
Working towards a sustainable future

– The students are the next generation of architects, engineers and technicians as well as among the best within their fields, and we see great potential in the ideas conveyed in the projects. By investing time and resources in Solar Decathlon, we’re able to provide them with as much support as possible in their endeavours to challenge and improve their competences and the industry, states Nilan Key Account Manager Philip Dahl.

Common to the three teams’ projects is the overall aim set by the Solar Decathlon organisation: to design and build homes which rely only on solar power and produce minimum waste products during their life cycles. Yet, the teams’ solutions to this task vary vastly, as they each centre around additional issues facing modern residential construction, as described below.



Team DTU, the only Danish team in the competition, represent the Technical University of Denmark. Their contribution, the FOLD house, takes it shape from a folded rectangular paper and can be adapted to individual needs and various locations.

FOLD consists of one big room with a technical core, holding, among others, Nilan’s Compact P GEO solution that combines ventilation with passive and active heat recovery, production of sanitary hot water, space heating, cooling and heating in a single solution. Nilan’s air distribution system NilAIR is also fitted in the house. Together with solar panels, these Nilan solutions cover the entire ventilation and heating needs of the house.




The Nanotowers are the French Team Rhônes-Alpes’ answer to the residential demands and challenges facing densely populated urban areas in which the residents wish to live in houses as opposed to apartments. The students on the team are from higher educational institutions of the Rhônes-Alpes area.

The towers make for a completely self-sufficient ecosystem providing the residents with individual comfort by challenging conventional apartment house designs.

Each residential space is fitted with NilAIR and the Compact P GEO solution that is interconnected with the overall ecosystem, thus allowing the towers to benefit from Compact P GEO’s many features, as described above.




Students from a number of higher educational institutions of the Aquitain campus in France have established Team Aquitaine Bordeaux Campus. Their contribution is Sumbiosi, a house that adapts to residents’ needs according to the time of year and day.

Each room has multiple functions as a result of the space modularity of the building that aims to provide homes of limited size, yet still meeting the demands normally fulfilled by a large house. Sumbiosi breathes with the Nilan Compact P standard model.


Learn more about this year’s Solar Decathlon at www.sdeurope.org