Khaleej Times

Solar-powered ‘cool home’ gets ready

- Angel Tesorero angel@khaleejtim­es.com

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,

Baitykool

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