Turns out the Rhône Alpes team from France with the Canopea house won Solar Decathlon Europe held in Madrid. Their home is actually the top of a conceptual “Nanotower” that the team proposed to bring single-family style living back to the urban core. The top level acts like a rain forest’s canopy — hence the name — by collecting 95% of all solar energy and 30% of rainwater for the tower. Canopea was built of a prefab CORE, site-built SKIN, and a SHELL capable of off-site fabrication as well.
For the Solar Decathlon enthusiasts and early planners, here’s a heads up that Solar Decathlon 2013 will be held at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, according to the Department of Energy. In August 2011, we mentioned that the DOE was shopping around for a new location. Turns out the new location is the site of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, which Irvine will convert into sustainable parkland for family recreation. Teams will install their homes on the paved runway.
The biennial Solar Decathlon finished today and teams will begin the grunt work of taking their homes back or sending them off if the homes were acquired. As we’ve done in the past, here’s a short roundup of all 19 Solar Decathlon homes for 2011. The competition fosters the design, build, and operation of net-zero energy homes that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. Maryland won the entire competition, and Appalachian State was given the People’s Choice Award.