The first team from the Czech Republic to enter the Solar Decathlon is Team CTU, made up of 26 students who set their sights on designing and building a prototype for future housing while raising awareness of solar energy, energy efficiency, and Czech architecture and engineering.

Their submission in the Solar Decathlon 2013, for which judging takes place in October 2013 in Irvine, California, is AIR House, which stands for Affordable – Innovative – Recyclable. Utilizing energy effective materials and technologies, AIR House provides a comfortable environment for older generations that appeals to the senses and respects the environment.


Designed to be transportable and easily constructed, AIR House features a flexible layout that can adjust to the needs of its inhabitants while responding to outdoor environmental conditions. Use of outdoor living spaces is maximized to reduce the load on mechanical systems.

Many materials used in the construction of AIR House can be recycled at the end of the life cycle of the building. Cross-laminated timber panels, which have zero emissions and are produced with zero waste, were used for their visual quality and pleasing effect on humans. Its “house within a house” concept incorporates a First Skin that consists of a thermal insulation envelope and a Second Skin that provides protection from thermal stress and generates energy.

A net zero energy home, AIR House gets all of the energy that it needs from solar radiation by way of fifty square meters of solar photovoltaic panels and is equipped with smart home technologies. When the home is not naturally ventilated, a heat recuperation ventilation system optimizes air exchange and reduces heat loss.

In addition to the use of low-flow and energy efficient-fixtures, a grey water collection system provides for irrigation of the surrounding vegetation. LED lighting enhances natural daylighting while full-spectrum lighting is used in the evening to stimulate melatonin production.