Contests & Scoring


Teams can earn a maximum of 800 points in the Oman EcoHouse Design Competition. The teams with the most points at the end of the competition wins. The competition consists of eight individually-scored contests, each worth 100 points. The contests are:

  1. Conceptual Design & Design Development
  2. Architecture
  3. Engineering
  4. Sustainability
  5. Communications
  6. Comfort Zone
  7. Appliances/Lighting/Electronics
  8. Energy Balance.

Juried Contests

The first five contests are called the “Juried Contests” because the scores are awarded by juries of subject-matter experts. The juries completed their evaluations in mid-September 2014 and the results were announced in January 2015.

Please refer to the Rules document for detailed contest criteria.

Conceptual Design & Design Development (100 points)

A jury of industry professionals evaluates the merit of the team’s conceptual design and design development proposal.

The criteria categories are:

  • Technical Innovation and Conceptual Design
  • Design Development
  • Quality and Completeness
  • Strategic Plan
  • Energy Analysis Report.

Architecture (100 points)

A jury of architects evaluates the design’s architectural merit and implementation by reviewing the team’s drawings, construction specifications, and audiovisual architecture presentation and by performing an on-site evaluation of the house.

The criteria categories are:

  • Design and implementation
  • Documentation.

Engineering (100 points)

A jury of engineers evaluates the design’s engineering merit and implementation by reviewing the team’s drawings, construction specifications, energy analysis results and discussion, and audiovisual engineering presentation, and by performing an on-site evaluation of the house.

The criteria categories are:

  • Documentation
  • Functionality
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation
  • Reliability.

Sustainability (100 points)

A jury of sustainability evaluates the design’s economic, environmental, and social sustainability merit and implementation by reviewing the team’s drawings, construction specifications, and audiovisual sustainability presentation, and by performing an on-site evaluation of the house.

Communications (100 points)

A jury of communications professionals evaluates the following communications materials: final website, public exhibit materials, public exhibit presentation, and video walkthrough.

Measured Contests

The final three contests are called the “Measured Contests” because the scores are based on measured performance.

Please refer to the Rules document for detailed contest criteria.

Comfort Zone (100 points)

Two subcontests comprise this contest:

Temperature (75 points)

All available points are earned at the conclusion of each 1-hour scoring period by keeping the time-averaged interior dry-bulb temperature between 25°C and 27°C during the scoring period.

Humidity (25 points)

All available points are earned at the conclusion of each 1-hour scoring period by keeping the time-averaged interior relative humidity between 50% and 70% during the scoring period.

Appliances/Lighting/Electronics (100 points)

Eight subcontest comprise this contest:

Refrigerator (10 points)

All available points are earned at the conclusion of each 1-hour scoring period by keeping the time-averaged interior temperature of a refrigerator between 1.1°C and 4.4°C during the scoring period.

Freezer (10 points)

All available points are earned at the conclusion of each 1-hour scoring period by keeping the time-averaged interior temperature of a freezer between -29°C and -15°C during the scoring period.

Hot Water (10 points)

One hot water draw will be required on most days during the evaluation period. The hot water draw is designed to simulate manual washing and bathing tasks that would take place in a typical day.

For each draw, at least 150 L of hot water shall be delivered in no more than 30 minutes to qualify for points. All available points are earned by delivering an average temperature of at least 43°C.

Clothes Washer (10 points)

All available points are earned for washing laundry by running a clothes washer through one or more complete, automatic, uninterrupted, “normal” (or equivalent) cycle(s) within a specified period of time.

Cooking (30 points)

All available points are earned by using a kitchen appliance to reduce the height of water in a kitchen pot by 3.00 in. (76.2 mm) by vaporization within a specified period of time.

Dishwasher (10 points)

All available points are earned by running a dishwasher through a complete, automatic, uninterrupted, “normal” (or equivalent) cycle within a specified period of time, during which a temperature sensor placed in the dishwasher must reach 49°C at some point during the cycle.

Lighting (10 points)

All available points are earned for keeping all interior and exterior house lights on during specified periods of time.

Home Electronics (10 points)

All available points are earned for operating a TV and computer during specified periods of time.

Energy Balance (100 points)

All available points are earned at the conclusion of the evaluation period for a net electrical energy balance of at least 0 kWh. A positive net electrical energy balance indicates net production; a negative net electrical energy balance indicates net consumption.

Scoring

The scoring of the juried contests is simple. Each jury awards each team a percentage score between 0 and 100%.

The measured contest scoring is more complex. The Temperature, Humidity, Refrigerator, and Freezer subcontests consist of individually-scored hourly average measurements, whereas the Hot Water, Clothes Washer, Cooking, Dishwasher, Lighting, and Home Electronics subcontests consist of individually-scored daily tasks. Therefore, the teams’ scores in the these subcontests increase very slowly during the measured evaluation period.

The Energy Balance contest score is based on the house’s cumulative net energy production or consumption during the entire measured evaluation period. Therefore, all the Energy Balance points are awarded at the conclusion of the measured evaluation period.

Weather Normalization

The Oman EcoHouse Design Competition houses are constructed and operated on or near the teams’ respective campuses. In other design/build competitions with similar scoring rubrics, such as the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and its sister Solar Decathlon competitions, the houses are constructed on or near the respective campuses and then transported to, and operated on, a common site. The EHDC faces a unique challenge in that each house experiences different weather during the evaluation period. A normalization routine has been developed to address this challenge and ensure a fair competition:

Competition Normalization (201 KB)

The result of the normalization routine is an adjusted measured net energy, which is what the house’s cumulative net energy would have been had the house experienced “typical” weather during the competition’s evaluation period. The adjusted measured net energy, rather than the raw measured net energy, is used to calculate the team’s Energy Balance contest score.

The adjustment is calculated by running two simulations of a modeled version of the house for the competition evaluation period. The first simulation is run using typical weather data; the second simulation is run with actual observed weather. The difference between the two simulations’ cumulative net energy predictions is the adjustment. The adjustment is applied to the measured cumulative net energy. The adjusted measured cumulative net energy is inputted into the scoring algorithm for the Energy Balance contest.

The energy models are built with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s BEopt software, the simulations are run with U.S. Department of Energy’s EnergyPlus software, and the typical historical weather data is provided by Weather Analytics. The actual observed weather data comes from weather stations installed at the house sites and from Weather Analytics Data Cubes. Finally, Weather Analytics generates the EnergyPlus weather files that are inputted into the EnergyPlus simulations.

Weather Analytics generously discounted its data, support services, and data processing services to the EHDC project.

wa-logo1

Weather Analytics provides statistically stable climate and forecast data formed by an extensive collection of historical, current, and forecasted weather content, coupled with proprietary analytics methodologies. In addition, Weather Analytics offers more than 580 weather variables (such as air temperature, wind speed and solar radiation) for enhanced weather intelligence and risk mitigation.

BEopt

The BEopt™ (Building Energy Optimization) software provides capabilities to evaluate residential building designs and identify cost-optimal efficiency packages at various levels of whole-house energy savings along the path to zero net energy.