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This year’s winner of the 10-day competition was Virginia Tech’s Lumenhaus, an 800-square-foot solar-powered home inspired by architect
The prefab homes of the future won’t just be relatively to build on the fly–they’ll also be ultra-sustainable. For evidence of what these homes will look like, we need only direct our attention toward this year’s European Solar Decathlon, which asks teams to “clearly demonstrate that solar houses can be built without sacrificing energy efficiency or comfort, and that they can be both attractive and affordable.”
The design of the house is an open floor plan with sliding north and south walls to double its floor size. this flexibility allows for a number of different spacial and programmatic configurations as well as natural lighting and ventilation.
Solar energy is harvested through bifacial photovoltaic panels (PVs), a type of powerful PVsthat can increase energy output by up to 15 percent. to maximize solar energy collection,the angle of the panels can be seasonally adjusted from zero degrees to 17 degrees using an electric actuator. other sustainable features of the house include a , geothermal heat pump, recycled and environmentally-friendly materials, and a computer interface that allows the homeowner to manage the micro climate through a smartphone.
Rohe’s Farnsworth House.
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