AURAK Innovates for Sustainability

March 25, 2018,

Under the patronage of the Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qassimi and the presence of the Director of the Department of Citizens Affairs at the Emiri Diwan in Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikh Sultan bin Jamal bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the American University of Ras Al Khaimah hosted “The Cornerstone Event of Al-Bayt Al-Kamel; RAK Zero Energy Villa,” that will be entered into the Solar Decathlon Middle East to be held in November of 2018.

The Solar Decathlon Middle East is a competition created through an agreement between Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Department of Energy of the United States of America to organize sustainable solar houses in Dubai.  The contestants will have the challenge of designing solar houses that must stand up to the heat, dust, and high humidity that is experienced in the Middle East throughout the year.  The houses are evaluated in the areas of architecture, engineering and construction, energy management, house functioning, sustainable transportation, sustainability, communication, innovation, energy efficiency, and comfort conditions.

The purpose of the Al Bayt Al Kamel is to achieve a sustainable net zero energy house which is self-dependent and aids in the production of electricity.  It is based on the traditional UAE house through the use of courtyard, majlis, and arish mashrabya.  The house promotes traditional means of design and construction and promotes the use of clean sustainable solar energy.  The house is built of modules that grow along with family’s growth.

The cornerstone event started with the arrival of Sheikh Sultan bin Jamal bin Saqr Al Qasimi, a meet and greet of the Al-Bayt Al-Kamel presentation sponsors, and an explanation of the model. President Prof. Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim gave an introduction speech welcoming the audience.  A film was shown explaining the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018, followed by a speech and film presentation of the Al-Bayt Al-Kamel Solar House by the students along with a presentation of a solar car by the School of Engineering.  The event concluded with refreshments and networking at the project’s mock-up site.

The next step in the project is the construction phase in which the Zero Energy Villa will be constructed for the competition in Dubai.  It will be constructed two weeks prior to the competition in November and last for the entire month.

Prof. Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing unconditional government support to AURAK over the past few years. He added that AURAK will give the student and that faculty all the support they need for the decathlon and elated that their efforts will help conserve energy.

The American University of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab of Emirates (UAE) is a government-owned institution of higher education which provides an integrated North American-style education. It is accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in UAE and offers a total of 22 undergraduate and graduate programs across a wide range of disciplines. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) awarded the institution candidacy status in July 2017.