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Politecnico is taking part in the International Solar Decathlon Competition Latin America & Caribbean 2019

5 November 2019

"Máquina Verde - El Arca" is the name of the residential module designed for eco-compatible social housing that the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD) of the Politecnico di Torino has contributed to design and that will be built during the International Competition Solar Decathlon Latin America & Caribbean 2019.

Solar Decathlon is one of the most renowned architecture competitions for universities worldwide, divided into geographical areas: Africa, China, Europe, Middle East and naturally Latin America & Caribbean. Teams of students and professors from different universities with highly interdisciplinary skills will take part in the competition. They design and construct the buildings with the economic contribution and technical support of industrial partners.

The housing module will be built in the first two weeks of the competition (from 18th to 29th November) in the Smart Village of the Universidad del Valle campus, in the Colombian city of Santiago de Cali.

The international team that designed the Máquina Verde - El Arca building is part of the Programa de Experiencias Internacionales (PEI) coordinated by the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) de Bogotá, in which the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD) has been collaborating since 2017. On the occasion of the Solar Decathlon Latin America & Caribbean 2019, the Oxford Brookes University was added to the PEI.

Professors Roberto Giordano and Lorenzo Savio, with the support of doctoral candidate Mónica Alexandra Muñoz Veloza, are leading a group of Politecnico students from the Master's Degree Courses in Architecture for the Sustainability Design and in Architecture Construction and City: Andrés Felipe Cruz Rodríguez, Marco D'Amico, Maria Caterina Dadati, Federica Gallina, Juliana Jimenez Camacho, Luca Macario Ban and Benedetta Quaglio. Students and professors have worked both in Turin and in Bogota at the Facultad de Arquitectura y Diseño of the Universidad Javeriana.

The project for the housing module was developed on the basis of a series of architectural, energy, comfort, social, economic and strategic requirements. Since 2018, the Politecnico group has contributed to several design-related activities, with the specific responsibility of verifying the achievement of the housing module’s environmental sustainability objectives. The environmental performance of the Máquina Verde - El Arca building has been the subject of several studies and researches that have involved the Politecnico team for almost two years.

Máquina Verde - El Arca was also able to count on the valuable support of the Embassy of Italy in Colombia and the Italian Cultural Institute in Bogotá, with which the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD) has been collaborating since 2018 in the organization of the Italian Design Day worldwide.

The cooperation between the Politecnico and the other partners of the project Máquina Verde - El Arca will not conclude with the end of this event scheduled for December 15th, and it will continue involving new professors and students who will be engaged in the design of buildings - strongly inspired by what will be built in Santiago de Cali - for the inhabitants of the informal district El Pozón, located in the south-western area of the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias.

The legacy of the Solar Decathlon project will take on a new dimension, aimed at developing a low-cost, self-constructed housing solution with local materials and, of course, near zero environmental impact.