Mo Ventus house shoots for net zero with shifting screens and windsail design
April 9, 2013
Architects are increasingly designing houses which produce as much energy as they consume, which has led to a plethora of innovative sustainable homes, some conventional in design and some decidedly not. The Mo Ventus luxury house concept from Todd Theodore Fix of FIXd Architecture/Design falls squarely in the latter category, with plans that call for retractable screens that regulate heat and light, along with a curved design to harness wind power more efficiently.
The name is derived from the Latin words "mōtus," meaning motion, and "ventus," meaning wind – which also describe the two most prominent characteristics of the house.
One of the main ways the Mo Ventus home intends to conserve energy is with several layers of screens and insulated foam core shells surrounding the main living/dining area and office space. Each covering would be seated on a moving track, allowing them to be retracted one by one, transforming the walls from opaque to filtered light to completely transparent.
Having real-time control over the amount of natural heat and light entering each space throughout the day could let residents save energy in most climates and even during changing seasons.
The most eye-catching aspect of the Mo Ventus house, however, is the large curve rising up the full height of the structure. It's designed to face prevailing winds and channel them towards four bi-directional wind turbines, which FIXd claims will increase the wind speed to produce five times as much energy.
A series of photovoltaic arrays running along the length of the house would gather additional energy as well, with several hydrogen fuel cells storing any excess power for later use. According to the designers, all these sustainable sources of energy would actually produce enough electricity for the house's day-to-day functions, even when completely disconnected from the grid.
The plans also call for three pools on top for heat absorption and recreation, along with space for a rooftop garden.
Of course, the only way to find out definitively just how well these energy-cutting measures work is to actually build a Mo Ventus house. FIXd is estimating construction costs could range from US$3,500,000 to $10,000,000 for a residence between 5,000 –12,000 square feet (approx. 465 – 1,115 square meters).
Since the Mo Ventus house was not designed for a specific client, most of the interior can be customized to the owner's liking. The main building is fairly open to be divided up into bedrooms, bathrooms, a garage, and more. The developers do recommend a few eclectic features too, like a tube slide leading outside or an outdoor amphitheater with a retracting movie screen.
Ideally the house would be built on a sloping beachfront with moderate climates, where it's sustainable features would best be put to use, but FIXd says the design could be applied almost anywhere in the world. The designers are currently looking for funding and collaborators to turn the Mo Ventus concept into a reality.
Be sure to check out the video below to see the retractable screens in motion and get some more info on the uniquely-designed Mo Ventus house.