It may look unassuming, but this sleek black box is the culmination of a two-year long collaboration of more than 50 students from 7 different faculties of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Initially envisioned by two architecture students and built for the European Solar Decathlon 2012 in Madrid, the goal of Odooproject was to encourage a new sustainable life by designing a house where as much time as possible can be spent outdoors.
More information about Odooproject after the break…
U.S. Department of Energy has announced the date and location of the 2013 Solar Decathlon. Appearing for the first time outside of Washington D.C., the highly anticipated competition will take place in 2013 from October 3rd through the 13th at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. Launched in 2002, the biennial event will challenge twenty collegiate teams to design, build and operate a solar-powered house that is cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. Participants are judged by their ability to blend affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
Continue reading after the break for more information and the complete list of the 2013 teams.
In keeping with our coverage of the Solar Decathlon, we are happy to share Victoria University’s Meridian First Light House third place finish. Finishing a few point shy of the University of Maryland’s 951 points, the New Zealand university received 919 points with high standings in several categories, including winning the Engineering contest, gaining first equal in Hot Water and Energy Balance, second for Architecture and third for Market Appeal. Plus, over the course of the competition, the house managed to produce more energy than it consumed – achieving net zero energy consumption, despite 10 days of undesirable weather. Team member Nick Officer exclaimed, “While we may not have won overall we are incredibly proud to have represented New Zealand on the world stage. We had such and amazing response from the US public here along with supporters back home.” Be sure to check out our previous coverage of the house to learn more about the traditional Kiwi bach – a New Zealand holiday home – inspired residence.
More photos of the residence after the break.
Yesterday, we shared the news of Empowerhouse’s win in the affordability contest - the first of ten contests comprising the Solar Decathlon. The second contest, and one of the most prestigious of the competition, judges the projects’ architecture…and this year’s winner is the University of Maryland’s WaterShed. Totaling 96 points, Maryland’s WaterShed surpassed New Zealand with 95 points and Appalachian State with 94 points. Thus far, Maryland has had a strong showing at the competition as the residence has placed first overall for 4 out of the 5 competition days. “WaterShed achieves an elegant mix of inspiration, function, and simplicity. It takes our current greatest challenges in the built environment—energy and water—and transforms them into opportunities for spatial beauty and poetry while maintaining livability in every square inch,” said Architecture Contest Juror Michelle Kaufmann.
More about Maryland’s design after the break.
Continuing our coverage of the Solar Decathlon, the results of the competition’s newest category of affordability are in! And, this year’s winner is Empowerhouse, a collaborative effort among students from Parsons The New School for Design, Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School, and Stevens Institute of Technology. Of the 19 participating teams, only Empowerhouse and Purdue University’s residence stayed under $250,000; yet, Empowerhouse achieved the lowest construction costs of all at $229,890 – roughly $20,000 less than Purdue. The project was conceived as a prototype for affordable, net-zero housing as a way to make green technologies available for everyone. Working closely with Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC, and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, the students have developed a scheme that can, and will be replicated, after the Decathlon.
More about the residence, including a video, after the break.
19 university teams from across the world are gearing up to make their way to Washington D.C. for the Solar Decathlon. Last week,we previewed the 19 designs and, by popular demand, today we’ll be sharing more info about SCI-Arch + CalTech’s design. Entitled CHIP (short for Compacted Hyper-Insulated Prototype) the residence’s geometry is designed to respond to the sun’s orientation while wrapped in a sun performative envelope.
More about CHIP, including a video walk-through, after the break.
For years, we’ve kept a watchful eye on the entries of the Solar Decathlon competition -an amazing student collaborative effort which showcases the latest in sustainable design. Today, we’re bringing you a sneak peak of the 19 houses for the 2011 competition. The form and materiality may be different from one team to the next, yet the projects’ attitudes toward optimizing solar gain and having the design serve an educational example of clean energy is all the same. While the winner of the competition best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency, we enjoy seeing each team’s proposal and learning about their process. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more information about some of the projects of the 2011 competition (check out our in-depth look at Team New Jersey’s eNJoy House). Which would you like to learn more about?
Check out a sampling of the teams’ models and renderings after the break and let us know which you’d like to learn more about.
In 2002, the United States Department of Energy initiated the Solar Decathlon – an intense competition challenging collegiate teams to create residences that fuse the most sustainable technologies with functionality, comfort, and of course, aesthetics. Over the course of the past decade, interest in the Decathlon has grown dramatically [be sure to read our previous Solar Decathlon coverage] as the competition has piqued the interest of students from top universities, as well as millions of public followers learning the advantages of energy-efficient, cost-effective housing.
Team New Jersey, a collaborative effort between the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, has designed a handicap accessible net-zero energy prototype featuring low-maintenance concrete construction and the latest green technologies, complete with a striking beach-inspired aesthetic.
More about the residence, including a great video, after the break.
View New Location for 2011 Solar Decathlon in a larger map
The U.S. Department of Energy just announced that the West Potomac Park, adjacent to the National Mall between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials will be hosting the 2011 Solar Decathlon. The event’s permit for the National Mall, the launching pad for the largest solar competition in the world, had been revoked in mid January creating a lot of disruption for the 20 collegiate Solar Decathlon teams who had put over 18 months of work in preparation for the event.
Here is our previous coverage of the Solar Decathlon.
Students from the 20 collegiate Solar Decathlon teams are continuing to raise public awareness in an attempt to keep the Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington DC. They have been building momentum and applying pressure to Secretary Salazar throughout the past month trying to overturn the abrupt decision by the National Park Service who revoked the permit for the Solar Decathlon on January 11.
Take a look at our previous coverage and full article about the 2011 Solar Decathlon booted off the National Mall.
The 20 collegiate teams chosen for the 2011 Solar Decathlon headed to Orlando, Florida last week for the International Builders’ Show where they met with media, exhibited scaled models of their current designs, and had their Design Drawings reviewed – the last stages of preparation, feedback, and red-flags prior to the September assembly at the National Mall in Washington DC.
In a strange turn of events, the National Park Service and Department of Energy decided to simultaneously announce last week that the Solar Decathlon would not be hosted at the National Mall. Contestants were blindsided by the announcement to relocate this years U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 competition. The launching pad for the largest solar competition in the world, where contestants are educating the general public about sustainable living and further are held fiscally responsible under competition rules for maintaining and restoring their respective sites to their natural state following the exhibition, is apparently not good for sustainability.
More following the break
Since the 1950s, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House has rested peacefully in a cornfield in Plano, Illinois. Now, the house will be getting a new neighbor – VirginiaTech’s winning Solar Decathlon residence, Lumenhaus (be sure to check out our previous coverage of the house here). As the name suggests, the residence focuses on maximizing the exposure to natural light (Lumen meaning power of light), and in terms of aesthetics, the house also pays homage to the BauHaus movement.
More about the Lumenhaus after the break.
Virginia Tech garnered the first price for LUMENHAUS, their design of cutting edge responsive architecture. The 10-day inaugural Solar Decathlon Europe competition featured 17 inventive designs from around the world. The competition challenged the designs to “clearly demonstrate that solar houses can be built without sacrificing energy efficiency or comfort, and that they can be both attractive and affordable.”
Designed as a modern day pavilion and inspired by Mies Van der Rohe’s Farnsworth house, the LUMENHAUS successfully created open flowing spaces connecting occupants visually to their surrounding environment. More photographs and a detailed description about LUMENHAUS following the break.
We are always excited to see what the Solar Decathlon entries bring to the table. It is an extremely intense competition, rooted in the belief that highly efficient homes can be sustainable without sacrificing aesthetics or comfort. Throughout the months spent preparing their final houses, students from some of the best universities in the world strive to fuse technological innovation, sustainability and design into a functional entity.
The competition challenges students to think beyond the systems and strategies that are currently in use, thus, each proposal attempts to find innovative ways to approach the issues of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The University of Florida’s Project RE:FOCUS combines its Floridian vernacular language with a ‘back-to-basics’ approach to sustainable living. As such, the 800 sqf house rethinks traditional practices and “hopes to communicate the need to RE:FOCUS how, and in what, we live.”
More about the project and more images, including some great construction shots, after the break.
The surPLUShome is based on a single room concept. The interior design is characterized by a multi functional body as its central element. This body contains primary functions like the kitchen, stairs and the bath and defines the possible use of close-by space. Besides it takes over functions of furniture and the building services.
But the most interesting aspect of this house is its shingle inspired ventilated skin, using photovoltaic modules.
You can learn more about the house at Team Germany’s official website.
The results so far are:
- Architecture, won by Team California (SCU + CCA)
- Market Viability, won by University of Louisiana
- Engineering, TBA
- Lighting Design, TBA
- Communications, won by Team California (SCU+CCA)
- Comfort Zone, won by Team Ontario/BC
- Hot Water, won by RICE (tied with Cornell and Illinois)
- Appliances, won by Illinois
- Home Entertainment, won by Illinois
- Net Metering, TBA
The Solar Decathlon is open to the public starting today, until Oct 18th.
After the break, videos with the houses by Virginia Tech, Team Alberta, Team Germany and Team Puerto Rico.
I just saw that the house designed by Team California, a multidisciplinary team from CCA + SCU, that we featured a few months won the Architecture Contest (1 out of 10 contests) at the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009.
By reading the jury’s comments, the project was highly acclaimed by two aspects: the inside/outside integration and the high quality of the project documentation.
On this integration, the house offers 700 square feet of decking that includes a large central courtyard and strategically placed openings which extend each living space to the outside, contributing to the overall feeling of spaciousness.
Clerestory windows and large sliding doors contribute to this integration, and is also part of the energy strategy, by bringing a high amount of natural daylight inside the house, minimizing the electric load. The interiors incorporates materials and products from individuals and companies that have demonstrated their dedication to sustainable practices, and others such as a lamp made from plastic drinking straws. Reclaimed California redwood rainscreen covers the house’s exterior, providing a warm hue and varied texture.
For three weeks in October 2009, 20 teams of college and university students will compete in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The competition provides the teams with an opportunity to “design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house.” Organized in three stages, (building, moving to the solar village in the National Mall in Washington D.C., and the actual competition) the Solar Decathlon aims to raise awareness among the general public about renewable energy and energy efficiency, help solar energy technologies enter the marketplace faster, foster collaboration among students from different academic disciplines, and educate the student participants. “The Solar Decathlon brings attention to one of the biggest challenges we face-an ever-increasing need for energy. As an internationally recognized event, it offers powerful solutions-using energy more efficiently and using energy from renewable sources.”
Santa Clara University, known for their excellence in engineering/business got the third place at the 2007 competition, and for this year’s competition they teamed with CCA, dedicated to architecture, art and design, to create a 100 student team to participate in the Solar Decathlon. The team is the only undergraduate-led team participating in the competition (most are filled with Ph. D programs), combing “youth and process, [they] set the standard in green living”. The young team of future architects, engineers, construction managers, graphic designers and interior designers have created a proposal, entitled Refract House, that is dedicated to promoting the idea of “Living Light: harnessing sunlight to power our energy needs, lightening our carbon footprint upon the earth, and enlightening today’s consumers and the next generation of concerned, responsible citizens about the possibilities of sustainable living.” “We want the project to have a lasting impact as both a case study for green design and as an exhibit of technology. We already know it’s going to have an impact on all of us,” explained Allison Kopf, an SCU Engineering Physics student.
More about the winning Refract House after the break.