(AGI) Dubai, Oct 13 - Rome University La Sapienza is now part of the small international group of 22 universities that for two years will be competing in the international Dubai Solar Decathlon Middle East University Team Competition 2018 It is a biennial event dedicated to architecture, design, planning and engineering designed to develop innovation, knowledge and research in the field of renewable energy sources and sustainable architecture. It is the first time the contest will take place in the Middle East. The difficult local climate conditions, characterised by extremely high temperatures and humidity levels, will pose an extra challenge to contestants. The 50 students from University La Sapienza will design an innovative prototype of a smart home running entirely on solar energy. An international jury selected the competing university teams through a rigorous three-month technical selection process. Come November, the Italian students will start working on their "home" at the premises of the CEFME-CTP Centre in Pomezia, under the guidance of their coordinator, Marco Casini, Professor of Architecture Technology and Environmental Certification of Buildings at the Department of Architecture of Rome La Sapienza. "Our project, ReStart_4Smart, will capitalize on the most advanced technologies existing in the field of project planning and building an efficient, functional, comfortable and cost-effective home. It will be a smart, sustainable and fully self-sufficient solar-powered home, resting on the idea of "shape, envelope, systems and people, " explained Mr Casini. "To be able to rise to the challenge, we are calling on our best students with skills in architecture, engineering, economics and communications, since custom-made and efficient homes need a multidisciplinary approach," he concluded. At the end of the two-year period, the prototype of a perfectly functioning home will be delivered to Dubai and opened to the public. An international jury will assess the prototypes according to 10 criteria: architectural quality; building envelope; energy efficiency; health and comfort; appliances; home life; environmental sustainability; the use of vegetation; technology innovation; and effective communication. (AGI). .