Several months ago, we mentioned news that Studio Daniel Libeskind designed a modern prefab with the prototype of the prefab under construction in Datteln, Germany. That home, more precisely a visitor center with conference rooms for the time being, was celebrated in an inauguration ceremony on September 29, 2009. The Villa, a first in the Libeskind Signature Series of homes, is super efficient and uses minimal energy, despite its size.
This morning the final results of the Solar Decathlon were announced. As expected, Technische Universität Darmstadt, aka Team Germany, took first prize. This is Team Germany’s second straight victory. In the net metering contest, the team gained almost thirteen more points than the next closest team, Illinois, which solidified the victory. Although the Popular Choice award will be released later this weekend, the competition is officially over. Make sure to check out all 20 Solar Decathlon homes from 2009 — they’re beautiful and inspirational. Here are the results (updated with Popular Choice later):
With only the engineering and net metering contests remaining, the Solar Decathlon entry for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is now slightly ahead of other contenders, including Team California and Team Germany. It’s a tight competition, though. Solar Decathlon director Richard King yesterday said Team Germany may just receive approximately 25 more points that the next closest team in the net metering contest. Such a point spread could propel the same to its second straight victory. Nevertheless, Illinois has this beautiful home built with reclaimed materials that can produce up to four times its energy needs at times.
Right now 20 solar-powered homes are competing for bragging rights at the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. With a few more contests left and the final results this Friday, Team California is edging ahead of the pack. They’ve won both the architectural and communications contests and scored third in the market viability contest. That said, both Team Germany and Cornell are doing some incredible things, and anything can happen. We’ll have to wait and see whether the Refract House can hold on to first.
Hot on the heels of acquiring Michelle Kaufmann Designs, Blu Homes has now announced the completion of their first home in Colorado. Homeowners Michael and Nikki Fischer have moved into their custom Blu | Chalet, and they seem to love it (watch video below). With a blend of smart design and energy efficient products, energy costs for the Fischer Chalet are expected to be about 30-50% less than a similar, traditionally constructed home.
Team Germany took first prize at Solar Decathlon 2007, and they’re moving up in the rankings this year. After the architectural competition, the team is now solidly in second place with a few more days to go. Could the cube with a solar facade bring last year’s victor its second consecutive win? In 2007, Team Germany had a beautiful home covered in oak louvered frames with integrated photovoltaics. This year, the team of 24 architects and students has furthered the same theme with 40 single-crystal silicon panels on the roof and roughly 250 thin-film CIGS panels on the sides.