The Oman EcoHouse Design Competition is governed by a set of policies, procedures, and requirements outlined in the Rules document. The contest structure and scoring criteria are also specified in this document.
While the criteria in the Contests & Scoring section of the Rules document have perhaps the greatest influence on the building designs, the following requirements from the Rules section of the Rules document also influence the building designs:
The building shall meet all relevant provisions of the local Authority Having Jurisdiction’s (AHJ) building code. (Rule 5-4: Building Code)
Each team shall clearly define and mark the boundaries of a 600 m² lot within its site…neither the exact dimensions of the lot, the physical characteristics of the lot, nor the surrounding site features are prescribed by these Rules. (Rule 6-2: Lot Size and Characteristics)
The finished area, as defined by ANSI Z765-2003, “Square Footage—Method for Calculating,” shall be
at least 200 m², but shall not exceed 300 m²…A prior version of the rules stated that “The finished interior area shall be at least 200 m², but shall not exceed 300 m².” Teams whose houses comply with the intent of the former language will not be assessed a penalty. (Rule 7-1: Size and Dimensions)
An accessible route through the house shall be provided to visitors with disabilities. (Rule 7-2: Accesibility)
Bare photovoltaic cells and encapsulated photovoltaic modules must be commercially available
to all teams by the beginning of the project. (Rule 9-1: PV Technology)
Hard-wired battery banks and large plug-in uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) are not permitted. (Rule 9-3 Batteries)
A team may reuse grey-water for irrigation only (Rule 10-3: Greywater Reuse)
Per Rule 7, the houses must include the following appliances and services:
- Refrigerator (minimum 170 L capacity)
- Freezer (minimum 57 L capacity)
- Automatic clothes washer
- Automatic dishwasher (minimum 6 place settings capacity)
- Kitchen appliance that can boil water
- TV (minimum 48 cm size)
- Laptop or desktop computer (minimum 43 cm screen size)
- Internet connection (minimum 1 Mbps upload speed).
Compliance with the Rules is verified through preliminary design reviews, scheduled onsite inspections, unscheduled onsite spot-checks, and remote monitoring. In other competitions, such as the Solar Decathlon, frequent spot-checks by competition officials are practical because the houses are operated by the teams on a temporary common site during the competition. Because the Oman EHDC houses remain on their permanent sites during the competition, remote monitoring by the officials is necessary to ensure a fair competition. Remotely-accessible sensors and cameras are installed in the houses to give the officials a means of continuously monitoring the houses.