Here’s a preview and updates on the 2014 European Solar Decathlon projects from educational institutions in 16 countries, including several joint projects. They are competing June 28-July 14 in 10 individual contests that will be juried, from architectural design to use of solar-power for mundane kitchen and laundry tasks. We salute their creativity, brainpower and hard work! Voting for your favorite house ended July 12.
Monitor the standings of all 20 teams. Look here and come back often You can’t help being impressed by the 20 collegiate and technical institute teams that have advanced concepts around their development of solar-powered homes for the 2014 Decathlon. What is trending in their projects ?
- Housing for disasters and restoration afterward — from an emergency facility that can morph into housing for post-earthquake needs (Chile) to providing a new beginning for the people of Tohoku who were devastated by the 2011 tsunami in Japan.
- Reusing unusual and underused spaces in post-war German cities (Berlin and Frankfurt) including rooftops and attics.
- Sustainable housing in a humid climate subject to frequent flooding (Taiwan).
- Using less to get more (Denmark)
- Mixed use townhouses in urban settings (Maison Reciprocity)
If you missed Part 1 of our Solar Decathlon Series. it’s not too late! Go to The Game Is On
COSTA RICA Tropika is driven by five key aspects: replicability, accessibility, efficiency, versatility, and sustainability. Team TEC addresses an aging population with a housing solution for the senior market, allowing this population to marry private spaces with communal areas. Web site
DENMARK Embrace: You’ll love the idea of the Danish team: “how little we need” instead of “how much we can buy.” When it comes to energy use, this team is focusing on a cross-breed of two zones: a minimal heated private space within a thermal envelope – which itself will be placed in a larger weather shield – along with a covered semi-public space. Web site
FRANCE Nantes – last year’s Green European Capital – is ranked as one of Europe’s most livable cities. This project concept incorporates “The Fertile City” — farming (fertilizing) activity within the context of city life, working (a new economy), sharing (socio-cultural relationships) and living (densification). Web site
Paris LivLib Team concept is a residential complex composed of two entities: a multifunctional ‘hub’ held and managed by the city and privately owned habitation ‘capsules’. “Free to live, free to leave” is plug-in concept that allows for an increased mobility of inhabitants, providing an easy and viable move-in and move-out solution. Web site
GERMANY OnTop is conceived for Frankfurt, Germany for many unused spaces – rooftops, terraces and other elevated areas – which can be used to address the issue of densification. The core principle of the concept is to reinterpret the roof shapes and build quality housing spaces with solar solutions on top of existing buildings. This symbiotic concept is called ‘Symbiont’. Web site
Team Rooftop seeks a solution for urban sprawl and higher living density, combating noise pollution, wasteful energy consumption and pressure on housing markets. Team ROF focuses on existing inner city buildings and how to best exploit unused spaces on rooftops to create comfortable housing lofts, preserving both inhabitants and energy. Web site
INDIA Through their project H0, the ShunyaTo team proposes to build a sustainable zero-energy solar-powered house to meet the exponentially increasing demand for urban housing and energy The name Shunya means ‘Zero’ in Hindi and has been chosen to illustrate a frugal , zero energy lifestyle. Web site
ITALY Team RHOME (Rome & Home) addresses the outskirts of Rome, where housing, country, archeology and illegal buildings are interwoven. Team RHOME seeks to re-densify and re-qualify the boundaries of the city by reinforcing urban settlements and working on a sustainable mobility solution for the whole metropolitan area. Web site
JAPAN Renai House The Chiba University team addresses the linkages with ocean and mountain. Due to the topography and landscape structure, this is a very high-density area. The shore line of Tohoku experienced destructive damage from the 2011 tsunami. The Renai house from“Renaissance” meaning revival is to contribute to the renaissance of Tohoku. Web site
MEXICO Project Casa Team Mexico UNAM focuses on the ZMVM area (Zona Metropolitana del Valle de México), the third most populated metropolitan area in the world. Team Mexico UNAM aims to design a sustainable housing proposal to face urban sprawl and adapt to environmental changes. The CASA system will focus on residual spaces in the city – empty areas and interstitial spaces – but also explore rooftops and terraces. Web site
THE NETHERLANDS “Prêt-à-Loger”, as in “ready to live” is the concept of Team Netherlands Delft. It is about solving the conflict between preservation and development, keeping memories and moving forward. The Team from DELFT maintains that old buildings are not just shabby constructions but real homes, filled with the memories and specific rituals of generations who lived there. Team Delft has conceived a toolbox with plenty of elements, the main feature being the skin which provides a frame for the entire household. This new skin will include the most common features (power, food, water, light, ventilation and thermal comfort) as well as a user-interface integrated into the skin. Web site
ROMANIA Romania’s Efden addresses changing urban lifestyles and restoring nature into people’s lives– core issues that team Bucharest University’s project presents. The idea is to build an envelope that behaves as a cell – it can be divided and then multiplied providing a homogeneous space with equal access to urban facilities. Web site
CATALUNYA (SPAIN) Ressò ‘s three underlying concepts are rehabilitate, reenergize and sustainability, motivated by an observation on the aftermath of the early-21st century real-estate speculative bubble: the existing empty buildings stock is energy inefficient. Those buildings need to be reenerzised. The project Ressò, also means echo, the metaphor for the will to create a deep and lasting impact on the population of Barcelona. An encapsulated descriptive term would be “Urban Regeneration.” Web site
SPAIN Team Plateau seeks to support the dense and compact city – a city where optimization is fundamental so that infrastructures will better serve the greater population. Team Symbcity focuses on unused spaces on top of buildings– rooftops, terraces and other elevated areas – as an answer to densification for housing, commerce or even equipment. The skin of the prototype will provide many features, including a Trombe Wall and a green house for optimal thermal regulation. Web site
SWITZERLAND Team Luc’s Your+ House focuses on the urban context of Lucerne in Switzerland — several dynamic residential and business areas around a strong core and old town zone. Your+ will be presented as a pavilion which aims to be implemented on a larger scale and become a solution for an entire system. Its three zones are independent volumes that can be connected to a buffer zone – a transitional corridor which also entails other roles such as climate control, daylight control and social interactivity. Web site
TAIWAN Orchid House by Team Unicode is creating a prototype that seeks to act as a comfortable living space entirely harmonized with nature and located on top of existing buildings in Taipei. Designed with respect to the local conditions of Taiwan – island climate, heat and high humidity urban context, social housing issues– the prototype will function like a plant, harvesting, circulating and recycling solar energy and water. Web site
THAILAND Team KMUTT’s Adaptive House challenge is to work on a solid structural foundation to ensure that the prototype can actually survive minor earthquakes, storms and most of all constant flood threat. This is an omnipresent concern for the people of Thailand, especially since the 2011 flooding disaster. The project will include a non-carbon transportation solution which can switch between land and water channels to be fully operational during inundation periods. KMUTT Solar Team workshop
Team Reciprocite , USA and France
Project Reciprocity Project Reciprocity stems from the desire to design a house with perfect balance between reciprocal elements such as privacy versus interaction, aesthetics versus performance, design versus construction and spaces versus systems. Web site
Team Inside and Out, USA and Germany
Techstyle Haus’s concept revolves around the choice of very atypical textile materials. The challenge: to reveal that materials dictate form and not the other way round. The house will utilize a highly engineered textile envelope to help passively regulate all the properties of the house. The textiles are highly performing; they are lightweight, which allows for easy transportation and for a modular design and adaptive spaces than can answer increasingly diverse needs of the modern family. Web site
Casa Fenix, Chile and France
The Casa Fenix Chilean Team project is directly linked to geographical features of the area: constant threat of earthquake. The post-shock costs for inhabitants are dramatic and the most notable consequence is increased homelessness. The project FENIX – For Emergency Natural Impact eXtreme – intends to tackle this issue with a modular solution that can evolve from the emergency shelter towards a more permanent home in a sustainable new community. Web site Come Back to Green News Update in the next two weeks for more on the 2014 European Solar Decathlon — including the final winner.