Rice University—Rice's "Ze-Row" Zero-Energy Row House engineers the single-family bungalow for Houston's hot and humid climate. Comprised of three prefab modules, the house is designed specifically to fit the affordability needs of a low-income Houston neighborhood. It incorporates photovoltaics and solar thermal systems.
Team Alberta (University of Calgary, SAIT Polytechnic, Alberta College of Art + Design, Mount Royal College)—Team Alberta's SolAbode is a post-and-beam modular structure that utilizes a panelized steel envelope clad in reclaimed wood and includes a deck and rooftop patio. A solar thermal system integrated into a glazing unit provides hot water, which is stored in a stone tower. Photovoltaic arrays are embedded in the roof, clerestory windows, roof balcony railing, and solar louvers.
Team Boston (Boston Architectural College, Tufts University)—Team Boston's Curio.House is designed as a modular/panelized hybrid structure in two parts: an L-shaped module containing the living space and mechanicals that support photovoltaic arrays and solar thermal collectors; and a deck module that runs from inside the living space to outside. The team chose to integrate the photovoltaics mounting system in the structure and to use microinverters to ease replacement, repairs, and expansion.
Team California (Santa Clara University, California College of the Arts)—Team California's Refract House is a modular home in the form of a fractured "L," with one end keeping the bedroom private and the other containing an open living area. The house will integrate photovoltaics on its roof and will include a rainwater catchment system for landscape irrigation and some household uses.
Team Missouri (Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri)—Team Missouri's Show-Me Solar House builds on a modular three-foot grid to which everything connects, simplifying construction. Photovoltaic panels and solar thermal evacuated tube collectors atop the roof provide electricity, water heating, and radiant heating.
Team Ontario/BC (University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, Simon Fraser University)—Team Ontario/BC's North House is passively designed with a highly insulated layered envelope outfitted with a dynamic shading material to manage heating and cooling. Several photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies are integrated into the building envelope. Home services are oriented along one side of the interior adjoining an open flexible living space, which can be customized to suit the occupants' needs.
Technische Universität Darmstadt (2007 Solar Decathlon First Place Winner)—The Darmstadt team's Passive House is designed as an accessory building, providing extra space for work and play while acting as an energy generator for the main house. Its photovoltaic systems produce more energy than it requires; its upgradeable design allows future enhancements and additions and is adaptable to any situation.
Universidad de Puerto Rico —Puerto Rico's decathlon team approached the design of its house as a reinterpretation of "tropical" vernaculars, with an emphasis on locally sourced materials. The Caribbean Affordable Solar House (CASH) is designed to serve as an example of truly affordable solar-powered living and of global thinking executed on a local scale.
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid—The Madrid team's Black & White House is modularly designed as a single story with a slightly inclined roof. Atop the roof is an inverted glass pyramid that acts as a skylight and supports the house's photovoltaics array, which self-orients to maximize energy production. Photovoltaics also form a portion of the house's outer shell.
The University of Arizona —Arizona's team designed a house that constantly strives to achieve climatic equilibrium. The SEED [pod] house integrates active and passive solar strategies, including an exterior skin system that collects solar energy. A greenhouse will serve as a biological filter, cleaning the home's air and graywater, and will provide food for occupants.
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