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Solar Decathlon

The Romanian Solar Decathlon team, in front of their Prispa home

The Romanian Solar Decathlon team has presented its innovative solar-powered prefab home ... and it looks good enough to move into. Dubbed Prispa, it blends comfortable living zones with an abundance of natural light. The prototype uses wood as its primary material, while clay has been used to finish the interior walls, and the photovoltaic system has been mounted onto the roof’s metallic boarding.  Read More

Budapest University students have created an innovative solar-powered prefab home for the ...

On the eve of the opening of the European Solar Decathlon, a team from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics is ready to present its innovative solar-powered prefab home, which produces twice the amount of energy than it consumes. The Solar Decathlon Europe is an international competition among universities which promotes research in the development of energy-effective and light-structured residential buildings that only use solar energy. This year the prestigious competition is being hosted in Madrid, Spain and will see a selection of university entries from across Europe, including Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, The United Kingdom and Romania, and four more from China, Japan, Brazil and Egypt.  Read More

The Ekó House takes its inspiration from the Tupi-Guarani, one of the largest indigenous g...

For its entry in the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe, a group of Brazilian architects, designers, students and researchers has taken its cues from the native Tupi-Guarani people, one of the largest aboriginal nations in Brazil. Called Ekó House, the project scales up Ikea’s self-assembling concept and combines it with solar power, rain collection, natural lighting, a dry toilet and a system to turn sewage into garden fertilizer.  Read More

The CHIP House's most striking feature is the insulation fitted around the home, which mak...

The CHIP House - which stands for "Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype" - was started with the goal of creating a net-zero energy home (i.e. one that requires no external energy source), and it looks like the designers exceeded that target. The house actually generates three times as much energy as it uses thanks to solar panels and a host of energy saving measures. The incredibly energy efficient design would make the house stand out on its own, but the integrated Kinect controls and smart features push the CHIP House above your typical green-conscious home and into "home of the future" material.  Read More

The modern Astonyshine design is focused around a freestone structure

Italy and France have joined forces to create the "Astonyshine" 100 percent solar home concept as part of the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe. The international competition is open to universities from around the globe and promotes research into the development of efficient housing. Astonyshine is a modern reinterpretation of the classic Mediterranean villa, and is the result of the combined efforts from Polytechnic of Bari (Italy), University of Ferrara (Italy), Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture Paris-Malaquais (France) and Ecole des Ponts ParisTech (France).  Read More

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu with the winners of the 2011 Solar Decathlon - Team Unive...

On the last two occasions, the overall winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has gone to Germany's Technische Universität Darmstadt but this year the top honor has stayed with one of the home teams. As the name might suggest, the University of Maryland's winning WaterShed project features some novel innovations to make the best use of water, in addition to an intriguing internal waterfall that helps reduce the load on the structure's air conditioning system. Read on for a brief look at the top five winning projects, as well as the People's Choice.  Read More

The WaterShed is the University of Maryland's entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy's 2011 Solar Decathlon competition is set to kick off at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., in September. The event challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive and in the lead up, the University of Maryland Solar Decathlon team has unveiled its entry called the WaterShed – a structure designed to capture more than just energy from the sun.  Read More

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has announced that China is to host its own ...

Every couple of years since 2005, student teams have been challenged to design, build and operate energy efficient, cost effective solar houses as part of an international Solar Decathlon. As teams show off their entries for this year's competition at the International Builders' Show in Orlando, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has announced that China is to follow Europe's lead and host its own version of the competition in 2013.  Read More

The FABLABHOUSE entry from Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluna is shaped for op...

Madrid will host the first European version of the Solar Decathlon competition this summer which sees teams from universities throughout the world designing, building and displaying efficient and sustainable solar homes. The overall competition winner being decided after the completion of ten trials aimed at gauging each entry's energy efficiency and sustainability credentials.  Read More

Team Germany celebrates its overall first place win (Photo: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Departmen...

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Solar Decathlon has wound up in Washington, D.C. with Team Germany taking the top honors, followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in second place, and Team California taking out third. As we reported last week the competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and efficient solar-powered home saw 20 university-led teams from around the world competing in ten contests, ranging from subjective elements such as architecture, market viability, communications, lighting design, and engineering, to technical measurements of how well the homes provided energy for space heating and cooling, hot water, home entertainment, appliances, and net metering.  Read More

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