Solar Decathlon Winner 2007

It’s pretty unbelievable to see all these cool houses at Solar Decathlon.  I mean, why can’t all houses look like this?  Late yesterday, it was announced that the Technische Universität Darmstadt team from Germany took first prize.  Congratulations!  Word on the street is that this house was consistently swarmed with visitors the entire week.  Rightfully so, too.

The trademark feature of their home is the oak louvered frames, almost like plantation shutters, that surround the home.  They’re built with integrated photovoltaics to provide that extra amount of solar power.  Visitors also seemed to love the floor-integrated bed and storage system.  With everything “Made in Germany,” the subtle touches and green materials are so compelling, so German-engineered.  And as you can see from the images below, this team expects various applications for the home, from vertical loft to outdoor retreat, and everything in between.


Now that they’ve won, the home will be shipped back to campus in Germany to serve as a “power plant” of sorts.  Right now, the campus is retrofitting buildings with integrated photovoltaics to feed electricity into the power grid, because there’s a solar feed-in tariff in Germany that provides a guaranteed price for any solar power that is piped into the grid.  To finance the installation of the photovoltaics, the university is selling shares to the public and they’ll pay the profits gained from the feed-in tariff to the shareholders.  So this home’s going back to start making money for the university!  What an interesting world where clean tech is incentivized and rewarded?