Student Competition Winners Visit the Solar Decathlon
Jul 11, 2014
by EmPower Solar
Hey guys! Liam and Sarah from Team Apollo’s Suns here. We’ve just returned from our dream trip to the Solar Decathlon in Versailles. We saw some amazing houses and some ingenious solar designs- they were so good we had to come back and tell you about it!
With so many incredible houses, we can only hit the highlights. So to start with, the first “and one of our favorites- was the Baan Chaan Adaptive House, created by TEAM Kmutt of Thailand. Devised to minimize the consumption of energy via internal cooling, the house has an open-center design, allowing nature to do the work as winds blow through. Ideally, this house would be placed on an equatorial coastal location. It’s not only energy efficient, but the perfect beach house! If you’re looking for a self-sustainable ocean bungalow, look no further.
The next one we went to check out was Your+ created by Team Lucerne Suisse from Switzerland. This house was designed with emphasis placed not only on solar potential, but space conservation. This space-conscientious construction was ideal for shared living and could be easily utilized in apartment complexes. Though everybody has their own bedroom, other rooms -such as recreation rooms, kitchens, and guest rooms- are communal. These rooms can be reserved by the residents at specific times when they are needed. According to this plan, one room can serve several people- they just need to coordinate their schedules. Both innovative and socially-minded, this structure certainly impressed us.
But, without a doubt, our favorite entry into this competition was Techstyle Haus forged by the masterful hands of our (and also Germany’s) very own Team Inside Out. They created a modernist spiral of a structure, intended to maximize solar potential at any time of day. An amoeba-shaped miracle, the exterior and interior walls were a textile hybrid complete with insulator material and flexible solar panels. It was a very spacious design with an upstairs loft looking over the master bedroom for the encouragement of cohesion between residents of the structure. Ideally this college-student-made house was made for college students- explaining the openness of the house. Plus, everything was their own, whether it be the quirky pink elephant ottoman in the bedroom or the crystalline cups on the table. From the solar panels the pinnacle of efficiency- to the internal heating system paired with the temperature-stabilizing walls- to the herb garden in the back perfect for some home cookin’- we found Techstyle Haus to be the winning amalgam of character and solar capacity.
It wasn’t just houses, either. There were plenty other exhibitions. On our way out we saw a hydroelectric battery powered bicycle! Keepin’ it fast, keepin’ it green, keepin’ it radical. We might even get some of these bikes for ourselves.
We couldn’t have asked for anything more enriching than the Solar Decathlon, the preeminent example of our aesthetic future. Fingers crossed for Techstyle Haus! Endless thanks to Empower Solar for affording us the opportunity of a lifetime. Stay solar!