Winner = Russia
Applicant: Far Eastern Federal Univesity, Vladivostok; Architect: Pavel Kazantsev
Project: Solar houses design for 20-50° latitude north
Low energy houses which do not require additional energy for heating are almost state of the art here in Austria. But how is the situation in the icy regions of the Russian Far East, like in Vadivostok, with records being minus 68 degrees, chilling winds and a soil that is always frozen? People in Russia usually heat their homes with millions of tons of oil, gas, coal, and firewood, but still houses get no warmer than 14 degrees. On average, every Russian uses 50 % more energy than any citizen of the EU. Saving energy is an unknown concept. An innovative architectural design developed by the Far Eastern Federal University of Vladivostok is tackling these challenges and brings a new quality of live into the living rooms of people: the "Eco House" for everyone has an overall heat insulation made of a special material not only for the roof and walls but also, and especially, for the foundations. So the house stays warm even in the most icy winter, and no longer sinks into the ground, which normally happens when too much heat softens the permafrost soil. With its windbreak architectural form and thanks to solar collectors and heat storage systems now a comfortable 22 degrees can be reached and the house needs only very little energy from external sources even in very cold conditions.
Applicant: The Smallholders Foundation
Project: Smallhoder Farmers Rural Radio
In rural Nigeria 70% of the people are small farmers, there is massive poverty, people cannot read and write. The only way to fight against this poverty is to tackle the degeneration in agriculture. What they need is information. And so in 2007 Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu had an idea: he developed the Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio which is unique in the world: it is a two-way radio system, so listeners can send feedback, a voice mail, to the radio station, through a simple solar-powered device. Thousands of listeners themselves want to make an input, sharing their own knowledge. Farmers can exchange their experience and knowledge. The information is collected and broadcast again. The daily program is broadcast in the local Igbo language and enables farmers acquire sustainable agricultural and environmental management technics, receive daily market information, advertise their farming products, to get information about (inter)national commodity prices, information why prizes change, etc. The farmers utilize the information to decide what to produce when, how and for whom. Through the support of UNESCO the radio reaches already 250000 listeners. The dream of Nnaemeka: soon broadcast to all small farmers in Nigeria.
United Arab Emirates
Applicant: Pacific Control Systems, Dubai
Project: Global energy & sustainability command control center
The Pacific Controls headquarters building in Dubai is an icon of sustainability in the Middle East. The first platinum-rated green building certified but the USGBC LEEDS program is a showcase of state of the art of intelligent buildings with 90 T of solar thermal air conditioning, 60 KW of photovoltaic plant and a waste water treatment plant that recycles all the water from the building. It is an energy-positive, smart building designed to provide a greater quality of life using less resources - by integrated interaction of a number of technological elements such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting or safety equipment. The "brain" of the smart building is its ICT, Information Communication Technology system that can manage, monitor and reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of buildings and infrastructure around the world. The embedding of ambient intelligence in building, sensors, wireless communications, web interface and data processing has improved the control and management of energy-hungry devices. This gives a constant stream of data to understand how the building is operating and how it can be run more efficiently. It is proven to be a cost-effective solution with 25% efficiency gains in less than one year. Buildings are not energy-hungry systems anymore.