by , 10/07/06

Bio-Solar House, Bangkok, Soontorn Boonyatikam, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, Thai, green architecture, sustainable design, biosolar house

Sustainability is wholly integrated with home life with Thailands first Bio-Solar House, a completely self-reliant abode in Bangkok where nothing goes to waste. The brainchild of Soontorn Boonyatikam, a professor of architecture at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand who is also the designer and occupant, the Bio-Solar House was developed in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team comprised of students and faculty from architecture, engineering and science departments. Although the exterior features of the house differ little from the average middle-class Thai dwelling, its true powers lie in the installed functionalities that course through its interiors.

Bio-Solar House, Soontorn Boonyatikam, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, Thai, green architecture, sustainable design, biosolar house

The Bio-solar home’s energy is generated entirely through solar panelling. A sufficient water supply is maintained collectively via rain, dew and condensation from a cooling system which can also be recycled and used to replenish the garden. Eco-consciousness is even extended beyond the premises with an electrical car that is powered by surplus electricity generated by the house. The additional investment for a Bio-Solar House may seem a tad costly in comparison to a conventional home but proves worthwhile when you think about never having to pay for another utility bill ever again.

Architect Soontorn Boonyatikam has always been interested in sustainable design, but personal circumstance provided additional motivation for this project. His wife suffers from pulmonary problems, and thus the family needed isolation from the notoriously polluted Bangkok air. The answer was a virtually airtight house in which the air is continuously filtered. Economics also played a major role in his design. Soontorn is also looking ahead to retirement and wanted a house in which “he’s never have to pay another energy bill”

For more details on the Bio-Solar house, please check out Jan Krikke’s great article from Architectureweek >

Via Architectureweek
images courtesy of Jan Krikke

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  1. benjamassuter October 17, 2012 at 6:03 am

    we are interested in working on this project with other people that share the same interest, hope we can get in touch

  2. papuang March 29, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Hello Green-Architecture-Friends!

    I like to design and build a smaler ECO-Home for LOW-Budget People made by Natural Materials.

    Is there a Thai Green-Architect like to work together for some Future-Projects here in Thailand?

    Maybe also the University is intersted in it?

    Good Ideas! Angela

  3. Praja August 26, 2009 at 3:26 am

    It is an amazing piece of architecture – a model to be adopted by those who can afford. There may be a few hundred thousansd who can afford such a house but need the will to build a house with Zero Emission and maintain it.

  4. genterprise August 1, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Dear Solar House,
    I have a friend wanting a solar house or conversion of an existing house to solar in Bang Saphon Yai, would you please contact him.

    His name is Curt. you can contact him at or bangsaphoncurt

    Please and thank you.

    Best regards,
    David G.

  5. Tipawan Reed December 5, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Dear Dr. Soontorn,
    I am blown away by your genius design of the prototype bio-solar home. Is the design in the public domain?
    My mom has a plot of land in BKK and would like to build a home replicating the prototype. How can I secure
    the plan and engage contractors who can build the home.

    I am working in Chicago and would like to know if there are architects in the US who is familiar with your work that I can contact. The green industry is gaining momentum in the US and I would very much like to promote your design and concept.

    Truly yours,


  6. Arnold Olsthoorn December 1, 2007 at 4:38 pm


    Me and my girlfriend like to build a house like this in the area of Udonthani, we also looking forward to find a good comp. how can build a house like this. ore we will order from the architect how can sale the plan of this house, so that we can make the same house u have see on the pics above.

    In Holland we also have some solar panels on my house, and it working perfect!
    If we have a house like this then we can live from our own water and electric, not supported by the city.
    More ecologic and better for the nature.

    How can help me to find out the way to start, thanks…………

  7. william and Sonthaya June 22, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Delighted to have found this website. We hope to build a small modern ecological friendly house in our village not far from Udorn Thani. Every vilage in our area has a couple of new homes financed by foreign marriages but the houses are a mish mash of classical and spanish styles and are surrounded by wicked looking fences. We would like a house which is modern, cool, ecologically sustainable and reflects the traditional use of space and styles in existing Udorn houses. Have you any advice on how we find a sympathetic architect. There is a great need to show how such houses can be built not just in Bangkok but in the other rural areas of Thialand

  8. jazmin May 10, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    how many solar panels did you need i need this number for a project i am doing in class

  9. philip royer May 8, 2007 at 2:47 am

    Dr Soontorn,

    You are an inspiration to everyone including the companies tha have for years exploited our natural resources for the own personal gain and finaciail benefits. I am very happy for your vision and forsight and courage to have been focused enough to have developed a house which is a role model for the future of hosue building.

    You should be nominated for a New Environmental Prize for such a beautiful concept. i have long been a strong advocate in support and promoting ideas and concepts such as this and would like to learn how it could be provided to those who can afford wiht the long term project to ensure those that couldnt easily afford a house like yours would have something close to it in design. Could you please send me some information about its creation. All the best with your wife.. Blessing best regards.. Philip

  10. jaganmohan May 5, 2007 at 5:55 am

    dear sir,
    how are you.can you please give me the design of the house and the materials used.
    thank you

  11. NickO May 1, 2007 at 10:49 am

    The solar panels on the roof are by far the greatest chunk of the overall cost. Thankfully with advances coming in thin film solar design the cost of the panels is likely to fall by at least a factor of 5 in the next 5-10 years as manufacturing capacity ramps up.

    Check out and similiar companies…

  12. homestay accommodation ... December 25, 2006 at 7:44 am

    I have to rent out my brand new holiday 3 bedroom teak wood home in Bangkok Taling Chan district.

    It’s by Thanon Wongwan Rob Nok and by the Klong Bang Tal – 5 minutes drive to South Bus Terminal (towards Kanchanaburi, Cha Am, Hua Hin, Phuket, Krabi and Malaysia) on Thonburi & 15 minutes to Chao Phraya River, Khaosan Rd, the Old King’s Palace & the Wat Pho. There is also a frequent bus 556 to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

    Pictures on request.

    check it out on google maps:

    lat=13.79381307 latitude

    lon=100.408499781 longitude

    Around are traditional houses with orchards, gardens, peace and clean air.

    Suit family with children and animals as the place is safe and has a terrace under the elevated on stilts house.

    Goes cheap, even short let – as I can’t go on holidays to Bangkok as often as I use to go. At the moment stays there my daughter with her children, but she can move to my sister in law house just the next door.

    A much better option of staying in Bangkok than the town centre, with it’s noise, pollution, traffic jams and crowds of tourists. In a Taling Chan home-stay you will immerse yourself in a traditional lifestyle and learn a little bit about Thai culture and customs. Walks through the fruit orchards and flower groves make a very challenging experience.

    You can feel here like living in the traditional thai willage – yet 5 minutes walk is 7/11 shop, cash machine and a daily street market. A short ride there is a famous traditional thai floating market in Taling Chan by the Chakphra Canal.

    There are several nice homestays in that area – old thai teak wood houses on stilts just overlooking slowly moving canals. You are in the middle of verdant and vast, lush gardens.

    There is nothing comparable to it in the whole of Thailand – a dream student home stay or a holiday accommodation.

    The exact address to my home:

    172/9 moo 11 Kanchanapisek
    Thawi Wattana 10160

    (it’s on the west border of Taling Chan district with a newly formed Thawi Wattana, and a few hundred yards south of amphoe Bank Kruai, already in Nonthaburi province).

    The location is here 1:5000 – you might see larger ones if you don’t recognise this area. The home is 80 meters south of the red circle on the first map – by the canal.

    If you are coming by taxi just stop immediately after the klong Bang Tal, go down over a small wooden steps to the canal and walk along the concrete path by the canal 150 metres – almost to the end of this path. If you are coming by car pass the canal and park on soi Muban Chuangchun Park Villa – you will have to walk back about 150 metres.

  13. Bernd November 23, 2006 at 4:57 am

    1.Has the entire set up been incorprated into manufacturing already? Has any company taken over the plans and ideas to actually commercially produce and make available such houses to customers in Thailand?
    I would be gratefulm for any contact

    2.How about energy saving/bio-house construction based on the traditional Thai houses? Did anybody try yet?
    Thanks for your info

  14. Anastasia November 4, 2006 at 6:40 pm

    Your house is very nice. I hope you enjoy living in it, and don’t collapse into the pool!

    stay dry,

  15. Mexico501 » Blog ... October 27, 2006 at 5:34 am

    […] Page Summary: Although the exterior features of the house differ little from the average middle-class Thai dwelling, its true powers lie in the installed functionalities that course through its interiors. A sufficient water supply is maintained collectively via rain, dew and condensation from a cooling system which can also be recycled and used to replenish the garden. Architect Soontorn Boonyatikam has always been interested in sustainable design, but personal circumstance provided additional motivation for this project. Soontorn will still have to pay something for his more | digg story […]

  16. Bio-Solar Home | Things... October 12, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    […] In Bangkok there is a house that uses solar power and some bio-power to keep everything running. It is a great example of how individual houses can supply their own existence. This particular house was made by the very architect who lives there. […]

  17. Nutzu October 12, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Well, I have heard about it for years ago
    The bio-solar house of Prof. Dr. Soontorn Boonyatikarn, eh?
    He also had a book about this as well…

  18. EveryDigg » Blog ... October 10, 2006 at 11:25 am

    […] The Bio-solar home ’s energy is generated entirely through solar panelling. A sufficient water supply is maintained collectively via rain, dew and condensation from a cooling system which can also be recycled and used to replenish the more | digg story […]

  19. its about time» B... October 10, 2006 at 7:31 am

    […] Inhabitat » Blog Archive » BANGKOK BIO-SOLAR HOUSE (tags: architecture energy environment home solar) […]

  20. Fatzz Weight Loss October 9, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    This is the first implementation of solar panels ive seen that does not look bad at all. In fact, i think they actually look pretty nice on that roof. Congrats on making it to! :)

  21. Alonline » The ul... October 8, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    […] This is an excellent bit of house design. The house itself looks like a standard 3-bedroom house you might find in any well heeled neighbourhood. It has a slightly modernistic design and an oval swimming pool overlooked by some big glass curtain wall. But this house actually produces surplus electricity from it’s solar panels, it recycles it’s waste water and produces it’s own gas from what other waster there is. It’s designer reckons he may never have to pay another utility bill again. (What’s even cleverer is that he is a university professor who got his students to help design and create the house, and if he was really clever he got it all paid for as well). Anyway there are a lot of details available here and some more details and pictures here. […]

  22. portait October 8, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    I wish that solar panels were cheaper!

  23. Lonny October 8, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    Great article. Beautiful home. A couple of quick notes:

    1. Soontorn will still have to pay something for his energy. Maintenance costs on a PV system of this size are not negligable. In addition, in most countries you still must pay for a utilty company ‘distribution cost’ to remain tied to the grid. See for more information.
    2. The following picture should read kilowatts not kilowatt-hours: That means that during full sun the house is putting out enough power for 220 very bright incandescent lights!

  24. Tadpole256 October 8, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    Wow… I wish more people were so forward thinking. We need more houses like this in the United States. Thought they would be cost prohibitive at first, the price would surely drop as popularity rose.

  25. koh October 8, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve heard about this for many years ago.
    It’s still a hard-to-find thing in Thailand, not so popular.
    I’m not sure why but I’m the one that want a house like this. :)

  26. ArtA October 8, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    Very cool. its quite hot in thailand – does this have aircondition?

  27. Walt Barrett October 8, 2006 at 12:03 pm

    This is a beautiful project!
    Great Job!
    Walt Barrett

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