Last week, on the 25th of July, Romania’s President Mr Klaus Iohannis came and visited our house. Over 200 people (partners, professors, people who helped us and our team) were there to celebrate with us this special moment in the history of our project.
Amongst our special guests there was the Deputy Head of the US Diplomatic Mission in Bucharest, David Schlaefer, academics and private representatives.
There’s something very special when the president of your country comes and visits you. It doesn’t matter who she or he is, it is the institution and the country it represents.
Romania found out about who we were and what we do
Furthermore, the event was streamed on every TV in Romania, everything skyrocketed and I couldn’t be happier, it was another dream came true. It was an assurance that we are doing something meaningful. It wasn’t one person’s appreciation that mattered, we felt is as it was our country’s appreciation and encouragement.
Before EFdeN it was PRISPA
Solar Decathlon story in Romania started in 2010 with the PRISPA project and the qualification for the Madrid edition, but it soon died after the competition, in 2012. Along with a few amazing people, we then cofounded EFdeN to keep the dream alive and signed up for the next edition of Solar Decathlon, in 2014 Versailles and we got qualified.
Getting into PRISPA and cofounding and managing the EFdeN were two life-changing decisions and I am so happy I chose that way.
EFdeN changed me, my life and others
In the last 6 years, it was crazy difficult from every perspective a person can imagine: physically, emotionally, intellectually, there were lots of ups and downs. We were so close to shutting down the project for at least 3 times, we borrowed money, people abandoned us, said we are a shame, we are fraud, that Romania cannot enter this kind of world competition.
One person from our Ministry of Education told me, after not a very good result in competition in Versailles, that the project failed, we were a disappointment, brang shame to our country and all that was my fault as a manager.
It hurt very much, but fundamentally he was right, that was my responsibility. Unfortunately, there was not any other option on the table taking into the consideration our resources and looking back I couldn’t have done anything better in that context. Now, of course, I would do things differently. I am extremely grateful to all my colleagues and all the companies and people that contributed to what EFdeN came to be today, an amazing organisation that changes lives and legislation in our country, a beacon of sustainability.
”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Vist our House in Bucharest in August
Our house will be open to the public in August. In September we will start to disassemble it and we will transport the prototype to Dubai. There it will represent Romania at the most important international solar competition – the Solar Decathlon. In this competition, there are 18 finalist teams from 13 countries on 4 continents. On 14 November the Solar Decathlon Middle East international competition will start.
An interidisciplinary team of 60 young people
The EFdeN Signature home was developed by an interdisciplinary team of 60 students and young people from the Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest, the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, BITS Pilani Dubai and two other universities that designed and built a 100 percent solar, electrical and environmentally friendly house, with a high degree of comfort, health and safety for the occupant.
“The creativity and perseverance of this team, which has succeeded in bringing together important academic and private partners, is the best proof that Romanian research is in good hands.
In fact, your project encompasses many of the things that give me hope for the future. It is not just the result of a creative, research-based approach, but also a concrete proposal to solve current problems.”
On climate change:
”Ladies and gentlemen,
Finally, I want to refer to the importance of placing environmental protection at the heart of our economic activity, but also of our daily lives.
Temperature records are easy to observe, and extreme weather phenomena in recent years make it clear that high alarm signals from climate scientists are correct and that we risk running into severe ecological imbalances, obviously caused by rapid global warming.
Romania is part of the Paris Agreement and the European Union’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Although these agreements have targets that seem abstract, their implementation requires our active efforts.
Every time we drive by car for a short distance, instead of using, for example, bicycle or public transport, every time we use a variety of household appliances or when we do not sort the garbage we help increase the amount of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere.
By building energy-efficient homes, by using low-consumption vehicles and appliances, we can help achieve the goals of Romania and the European Union and thus provide a better future for future generations.” , Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania