So­lar-pow­ered ‘cool home’ gets ready

Khaleej Times - - NATION - An­gel Te­sorero an­gel@khalee­j­

dubai — A group of vis­it­ing stu­dents from France and Pales­tine has part­nered with a Dubai univer­sity stu­dents to build a house that is per­fect for the desert environmen­t, us­ing the sun­shine avail­able 365 days in a year here.

Baitykool, a 100-per cent so­lar­pow­ered house de­signed for hot climate is be­ing con­structed at the Amity Univer­sity campus in Dubai by French stu­dents, and as­sisted by stu­dents from the same univer­sity. The house is their en­try for the up­com­ing So­lar De­cathlon Mid­dle East, an ar­chi­tec­tural and engi­neer­ing com­pe­ti­tion, hap­pen­ing in Dubai in Novem­ber.

“Our main ob­jec­tive is to build a highly ef­fi­cient, in­no­va­tive and re­new­able-en­ergy pow­ered home of the fu­ture,” Kais Bhouri, 25, project ar­chi­tect of Baitykool and stu­dent at Ecole Na­tionale Supérieure d’Ar­chi­tec­ture et de Paysage de Bordeaux (ENSAPBx), told Khaleej Times on Thurs­day.

“We have de­signed a home that re­flects the tra­di­tional and mod­ern ways of life in the UAE. Our goal for Baitykool is to sup­port the am­bi­tion of Dubai for a green city by 2030,” added Bhouri.

“The home has space to grow food and re­cy­cle wa­ter in­ter­nally,” said Ber­trand Cani­giani, 37, an aquapon­ics sys­tem en­gi­neer from French com­pany Ark­i­tur­ria, who is re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing the 2m long, 1.5m high and 0.35m wide aquar­ium at­tached to the out­side wall of Baitykool.

“Ba­si­cally, we can re­cy­cle and save 90 per cent of wa­ter used in Baitykool,” Cani­giani said. “And the aquar­ium, which is used not just to fil­ter the wa­ter, adds a more re­lax­ing am­bi­ence to the house. With hy­dro­pon­ics, we can also grow veg­eta­bles to make real ‘home-made salad’,” he added.

The team and their cr­reation

The Baitykool team is com­posed of stu­dents from Bordeaux Univer­sity, Arts et Métiers School (ENSAM), ENSAPBx, An Na­jah Na­tional Univer­sity (Pales­tine) and Amity Univer­sity (Dubaï). They started with de­sign con­cep- tu­al­i­sa­tion back in Septem­ber 2016. Pre­fab­ri­ca­tion of ma­te­ri­als for Baitykool be­gan in May and in­stal­la­tion started in July. The pro­to­type house is ready for the So­lar De­cathlon Mid­dle East com­pe­ti­tion in two weeks.

Baitykool — a port­man­teau of the words ‘baity’, which means home in Ara­bic, and ‘kool’ — is a U-shaped sin­gle-de­tached house made out of re­cy­clable and low im­pact ma­te­ri­als. It can pro­duce elec­tric­ity di­rectly from sun­light, cour­tesy of so­lar pan­els in­stalled on the roof.

The floor is con­crete and the beams and walls are pre-fab­ri­cated wooden pan­els from France and

trans­ported to Dubai. For in­su­la­tion, in­serted in the dou­ble-sided walls are clay bricks; and in­stead of paint­ing the walls, these are cov­ered with white can­vas made from 40 per cent corn husk.

The in­side floor area is 84sqm, di­vided into liv­ing room, kitchen, bath­room, and two bed­rooms. The ex­te­rior height, from the ground to the roof, is 5-me­tre and indoor, from floor to ceil­ing, is 3.8-me­tre.

To cre­ate a more liv­able space, Baitykool has an ad­ja­cent 25sqm pa­tio that can be used for outdoor ac­tiv­i­ties and gar­den­ing.

An­other main at­trac­tion of Baitykool, which is be­ing con­structed for the com­pe­ti­tion at a to­tal cost of

600,000 eu­ros (Dh2.55m), is its aquapon­ics, a com­bi­na­tion of aqua­cul­ture (rais­ing fish) and hy­dro­pon­ics (the soil-less grow­ing of plants). So, the eco-friendly house can also pro­duce its own food and sus­tain its oc­cu­pants be­sides gen­er­at­ing its own en­ergy.

Com­ment­ing on the eco-project, French Am­bas­sador Lu­dovic Pouille, said: “Baitykool has been de­vel­oped to solve the prob­lem of hot weather in the coun­try.

This in­no­va­tive project car­ries loud and clear France’s com­mit­ment to fight­ing climate change. Baitykool’s am­bi­tions are fully aligned with the com­mit­ment of the ‘One Planet Sum­mit’ re­cently

We have de­signed a home that re­flects the tra­di­tional and mod­ern ways of life in the UAE. Our goal for Baitykool is to sup­port the am­bi­tion of Dubai for a green city by 2030.”

Kais Bhouri, project ar­chi­tect,


The home has space to grow food and re­cy­cle wa­ter in­ter­nally. Ba­si­cally, we can re­cy­cle and save 90 per cent of wa­ter used in Baitykool. With hy­dro­pon­ics, we can also grow veg­eta­bles.”

Ber­trand Cani­giani, aquapon­ics

sys­tem en­gi­neer, Baitykool

held in New York. It re­flects the ‘Make Our Planet Great Again ini­tia­tive launched by French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron last year which is an ap­peal to all re­searchers, teach­ers, en­trepreneur­s, as­so­ci­a­tions, NGOs, stu­dents and the civil so­ci­ety to come to­gether to help de­vise climate change so­lu­tions.”

A pro­to­type of Baitykool protype, be­ing con­structed by a team of stu­dents at Amity Univer­sity

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