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Solar Decathlon

The design of the Orchid House was inspired by Tawian's innovative greenhouse technologies...

In high-density areas like the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, people have long looked to expand vertically to make use of the limited land, resulting in a lack of vegetation, high humidity and high energy usage. According to Unicode, a team of Taiwanese architects and designers, 50 percent of the county's housing constructions are either common multiple-story rowhouses or larger duplex apartment buildings, many of which have illegal makeshift shelters on their rooftops to provide extra living space. Unicode has developed a concept house which would give these shelters a greenhouse-inspired makeover, shifting reliance to renewable energy sources and improving Taipei's sustainability in the process.  Read More

Live-Lib, a concept for a two-part residential building, could form part of a sustainable ...

Small capsule-like homes where management of utilities, such as electricity and water, is left to the city could form part of a sustainable future for Paris, according to a team of the city's designers and architects. Live-Lib, a concept for a two-part residential building, is designed to provide a degree of privacy while feeding off communal, sustainable resources to drive down costs and energy usage.  Read More

A team of the university's students has developed a concept for a solar-powered skin to be...

Around 60 percent of the homes in the Netherlands are row house terraces, with around a quarter of those built in the post-war period. While these constructions characterize much of the Dutch urban landscape, they weren't exactly built with energy efficiency as their first priority. A team of Delft University students has developed a concept for a solar-powered skin designed to optimize energy usage, while also preserving this classic Dutch architecture.  Read More

Lakiya Culley cuts the ribbon on her new home (Photo: Sarah Gerrity, US Dept of Energy)

It won first prize in the Affordability category of the 2011 Solar Decathlon, and in December of 2012 Empowerhouse became Washington DC’s first Passive House. In a video interview just released by the US Department of Energy, its new owner describes how the house's energy-saving design means a brighter future for her family.  Read More

The winning house, LISI, by the Vienna University of Technology features a lace-like UV cu...

Team Austria (Vienna University of Technology) has been announced the overall winner of Solar Decathlon 2013 after the closest competition in the history of the event. Second place went to University of Nevada Las Vegas, with the Czech Technical University achieving third place overall.  Read More

The Illawarra Flame house was created by students from the University of Wollongong

A group of students from the University of Wollongong took a typical Australian "fibro house," and retrofitted it with technology which includes solar panels, climate control, and an energy monitoring system. The end result, dubbed Illawarra Flame, is a net-zero home which offers a potential starting point for transforming many similar properties into low-energy dwellings.  Read More

The competition is due to take place this October (Image: Team Stanford)

Since its inception back in 2002, the biennial US Department of Energy-sponsored Solar Decathlon has given collegiate teams a chance to show off their best solar powered home designs. Gizmag takes a closer look at five of this year's 20 entrants which will compete in October.  Read More

The DALE micro-home is the work of a collaboration between SCI-Arc and Caltech students

Students from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and California Institute of Technology (Caltech), have joined forces to produce a net-zero micro-home concept for 2013's Solar Decathlon competition. Dubbed "DALE," the futuristic dwelling is able to expand in size, for those situations in which you don't want your micro-home to be quite so micro.  Read More

SunBloc was the winner of the 2012 RIBA President Medals Student Awards, a prestigious arc...

A net-zero house project called SunBloc has won the 2012 RIBA President Medals Student Awards, a prestigious architectural competition that takes place annually in the UK. Devised by students from the London Metropolitan University, SunBloc is tailored for the Solar Decathlon Competition, but the students say it can be adapted to other contexts.  Read More

The French Rhone Alpes team has won this year’s European Solar Decathlon with its Canopea ...

The French Rhone Alpes team has won this year’s European Solar Decathlon with its ecological modular home concept. Dubbed Canopea, the prefabricated prototype home has been designed so that a series of Canopea modules can be stacked on top of one another, creating a “nanotower” which could house up to ten families. The concept is hoped to foster the development of sustainable community living in urban areas, while also taking advantage of the sun’s energy through an integrated system of rooftop photovoltaic panels.  Read More

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