The team from Virginia Tech just took the top prize at Solar Decathlon Europe with their house pavilion, Lumenhaus, which was inspired by the Farnsworth House. The deep green home was on display in the Solar Village in Madrid and viewed by more than 190,000 visitors.
As is the case with Solar Decathlon homes, Lumenhaus is both energy efficient and outfitted with solar technology to generate more energy than is necessary to run the home. The rooftop solar system can vary its angle to optimize energy production.
Key to the design is a central living core and an innovative operable wall structure that responds to the weather and occupant behavior. Movable screens and insulation panels — made of translucent sheets and aerogel — dominate the exterior while LEDs illuminate the structure at night.
Also, everything is wired, monitored, and connected to a handy iPhone application for the sake of energy efficiency and convenience.
Enduring 10 contests, Virginia Tech snatched victory with a slim one-point margin over the IKAROS project from the University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Virginia Tech beat out 16 other teams with a score of 812.
Photo credits: Lumenhaus.