SPAIN: The most sustainable home

Next month, 20 universities from nine countries will compete in Madrid to construct 'the most sustainable house possible' using solar power. Representatives from universities in China, Brazil, US, Finland, Spain and the UK will each build a solar house in the enormous showrooms next to Madrid's Royal Palace and the River Manzanares.

'Solar Decathlon', which is expected to attract more than 100,000 people, has only previously been held in Washington, DC. At every previous event, a significant number of new patents were generated. It has therefore attracted great interest from businesses around the world which have sought to exploit cutting-edge university research into solar power.

The event is being organised by the Polytechnic University of Madrid in collaboration with the Town Hall of Madrid. The Ministry of Housing is contributing EUR5 million (US$6 million) to the costs and the central government a further EUR2.3 million.