Architecture students from universities across Europe and even Egypt are putting the final touches on their Solar Decathlon 2012 projects, and we're excited to profile the Casa em Movimento from the University of Porto in Portugal. A groundbreaking modular home for contemporary families, CEM is clad in a suite of photovoltaic panels that track the sun as it makes its way across the sky each day, producing far more energy than it actually needs.
CEM provides a wonderful solution for the 21st century’s energy crisis in an attractive, compact design. In addition to being modular and therefore easily adapted as the family grows, it is completely self-sustaining. By this we mean that the home will exist independently of the national grid, although it will be costly to invest in the technology required to make it so. Which is why the Porto team designed the house to produce a surplus of energy that can be used to not only charge the family’s EV, but also generate income by feeding power back into the grid.
A host of other interventions increases this home’s appeal as well. Only naturally insulated materials such as cork and wood are used in the interior to guarantee the project’s overall energy efficiency, while a reflecting pool and permeable pavements outside enhance the microclimate and control rainwater runoff. The Porto team has faced significant challenges to raise the necessary funds, but they have persevered nonetheless with the mantra that they are not only representing their university, but also their country. If you can, why not give them a little lift for an excellent cause.
images © Ricardo Santonja