Tag Archives: Future of Homes

Congratulation Virginia Tech Winners of Solar Decathlon 2010

CONGRATULATIONS Virginia Tech! Virginia tech’s Lumenhaus won the Solar Decathlon 2010 in Madrid Spain. University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim and the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences came in at second and third places, respectively.

Virginia Tech team with the Solar Decathlon Trophy

Fachochschule fur Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin is announced the winner of the Solar Systems Award.University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim is the winner of the Electrical Energy Balance Award and also the Appliances and Functioning Award.

Over 190,000 people visited the Villa Solar 2010.The public’s favorite houses were the Fablab House from the Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluña and the SML House from the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera.

The web’s favorite was Re:focus from the University of Florida. Congratulations also to all the young sustainable Green architects and creators of all the participating teams you are the hope of the future!

The Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon was held in Spain this year. For those of us who are hearing about it for the very first time it is normal to wonder “What is the Solar Decathlon?”

The Solar Decathlon is a competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy in which universities from across the globe meet to design and build an energetically self-sufficient house that runs only on solar energy, is connected to a power grid, and incorporates technologies that maximize its energy efficiency.

In the final phase of the competition, teams will assemble their prototypes in the so-called Villa Solar. The prototypes designed by the participating teams will then compete in a set of ten contests (Decathlon) in order to demonstrate the self-sufficiency and energy efficiency of each house.”

History of the competition

The Solar Decathlon is held every 2 years; the first edition of the Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the second in 2005; the third in 2007. The previous competition was held in October 2009 and 20 teams representing as many universities from the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany and Spain competed. The German team from the Technische Universität Darmstadt won the decathlon in 2009.

All of the competitions that have been held so far have been located in the National Mall in Washington D.C., and have resulted in great media and social impact, with more than 100,000 visitors attending the competition. This year the number of visitors alsmost doubled to 190,000 plus!

Europe is hosting its first Solar Decathlon; Villa Solar 2010 is being held in Madrid Spain and 17 universities have been shortlisted from across the world, they are the following in order of their final ranking- The top 5 also have the points they received. Virginia Tech won by less than a point!!:

  1. Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University 811.83
  2. University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim 810.96
  3. Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences 807.49
  4. Ecole national Superieure darchitecture de Grenoble 793.84
  5. Aalto University Finland 777.01
  6. Bergische Universitat Wuppertal
  7. Arts et Metiers Paris Tech
  8. University of Florida
  9. Unviversidad CEU Cardenal Herrera
  10. Fachchochschule fur Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin
  11. Tongji University Shanghai
  12. Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya
  13. Universidad de Sevilla
  14. Universidad de Valladolid
  15. University of Nottingham
  16. Tianjin University
  17. Instituto de Architecture Avanzada de Cataluna

Watch the Virginia Tech’s documentary about the Lumenhaus on Youtube


Virginia Tech Team and its Lumenhaus
Given Below is the Description given by the team about their project on SDEurope.org

The Concept

Inspired by the Farnsworth House by Mies Van Der Rohe, the house offers an open configuration which connects the houses inhabitants to the outdoors.

The Design

The interior and exterior of the house are joined together by a smooth transition when the Eclipses System is open, contributing to a feeling of transparency. When the weather is nice, the windows can be opened to expand both the physical and psychological appearance of the space. The floor of the house doubles in size, and the southern and northern walls disappear to make the rooms seem as if they have no barriers or limitations. The multi-layered wall-changing system allows for various forms of spatial organization and therefore different perceptions of the house. The central core plays an important role in allowing different configurations in the houses interior.

Each area of the house is set up for specific activities, but they are designed to be flexible and can be adjusted according to individual needs. For example, the doors within the central core incorporate the work area, storage and entertainment units, but may be shifted to close off the bedroom from the rest of the house in order to create a more private area. The kitchen can be transformed into a bar, and the dining table can be left outdoors during warm summer evenings. The modular design also means that the entire house is flexible and that multiple units can be connected or placed one above the other (connected by stairs) to create a house with 3 or 4 bedrooms.

The Technology

From its construction to its transportation, the house employs responsive architecture and other similarly advanced technological features.

Radiating heat in the concrete floor

The concrete floor features a radiating floor heating system. This heats the house through a geothermal pump, which draws in heat during the winter and cools the floor during the summer. This procedure requires less energy use, making the house more efficient. In addition, the geothermal heat pump produces hot water as a byproduct during the summer.

Photovoltaic System

The rooftop photovoltaic system has the ability to vary its angle in order to maximize the efficiency of the power gained from the sun. It is controlled through a computerized user interface that can be connected to an iPhone. In fact, the user can control all of the functions, including the Eclipsis System, the photovoltaic system, the temperature, the electricity and the entertainment devices, with the simple use of an iPhone.

Placed second overall and winners in Appliances & Functioning and Electrical Energy Balance

Rosenheim Placed Second

Stuttgart Placed Third

All the houses and the technologies used are mind blowing and very inviting to live in 🙂 Sustainable Green living sure looks like a safer future in these hands!

The rest of the videos and more can be found here http://vimeo.com/tag:solardecathloneurope

Source for pictures and info