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Germany’s Hemp-insulated ECOLAR House Scoops the Solar Decathlon Engineering Prize!
ECOLAR’s basic construction, comprised of beams and columns, essentially stays the same but can be configured differently based on the homeowner’s preferences. In keeping with the mandates of genuine sustainability, the team stuck to sustainably-sourced wood for construction, and then incorporated hemp insulation in the floors, walls and ceiling to prevent thermal loss. Despite being outlawed in some countries, this really is one of the most sensible materials to use in construction today.
The vertical and rooftop solar panels are all different and can be either opaque or semi-transparent depending on where they are placed. In addition to generating energy – about 14,371 kWh each year in Germany – these panels also contribute to the home’s aesthetic appeal and passive design. All of the technical equipment is housed in a super cabinet behind the kitchen panel that slides in and out, providing plenty of space in which to conduct any necessary electrical or mechanical tune ups or repairs. Congratulations Team Ecolar… let the competition continue!
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