Gallery: 6 Amazing Sun-Powered Homes Competing in the 2012 Solar Decath...

The 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe kicks off this weekend as 19 teams of students from around the world unveiled stunning solar-powered homes in the heart of Madrid. This year's teams combined cutting-edge eco technology and green building strategies with tremendous creativity to achieve the decathlon's goal of creating the world's most efficient sun-powered house. From cylindrical solar homes that generate two times more energy than they consume to Passivhauses inspired by traditional architecture and modular prefab marvels, read on for 6 of our favorite projects in the European Solar Decathlon - and stay tuned for our exclusive coverage this weekend!

Designed by the Technical University of Denmark, the Plus Energy FOLD House is a versatile modular home that can be configured in a variety of different ways depending on how its site is laid out.

The Heliomet SunBloc House by the London Metropolitan University is designed to be placed on the rooftops of existing buildings, where it will supply electricity and hot water to its neighbors.

Students from Spain’s Basque University designed the Ekihouse – a solar-powered home wrapped in a steel mesh facade.

The Omotenashi House by Chiba University is a gorgeous solar home wrapped in a green wall that was inspired by traditional Japanese architecture.

Team Zaragoza‘s Casa Pi is the only circular house in this year’s European Solar Decathlon. The sun powered cylindrical home is designed to generate two times more energy than it consumes while cutting water use by one half.

China’s Tongji University drew upon Daoist principles to design the Para Eco-House – a self-sufficient home that takes advantage of Passivhaus strategies to keep its energy use to a minimum.

+ Solar Decathlon Europe

+ Solar Decathlon Coverage on Inhabitat


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