Germany’s Solar Coated surPLUShome Wins Solar Decathlon!

by , 10/16/09

solar decathlon, solar decathlon 2009, winners, winner, Team Germany, Illinois, net metering, solar power, net zero, pv panels, energy efficient design

The final results just rolled in from this year’s Solar Decathlon, and team Germany’s sleek surPLUShome finished first in an incredible upset victory! The German team took top honors in the Net Metering and Engineering categories this morning, steamrolling the competition to secure their second Decathlon win. This year’s home features a sleek, dark facade that is almost completely covered in photovoltaic panels and can provide more than twice the amount of energy it needs. Check out our cool video from about the house after the jump!

A far cry from the Team Germany’s 2007 entry, the surPLUShome pushed the envelope in every respect, from the use of new technology to non-traditional architecture. The competition really came down to solar production and energy efficiency, with the goal of designing and building a net zero home. So it’s really no surprise that Germany was victorious, considering their very rigorous and impressive Passivhaus building standard.

The surPLUShome is a two-story cube covered with a 11.1 kW PV system with panels on the roof (single-crystal silicon), sides, and front (thin-film copper indium gallium diselenide). Inside, a single multi-functional room operates as kitchen, living, dining, bath and bedroom. Furniture is multi-purpose as well and folds away to make space when not needed. Other important design features include custom-made vacuum insulation structural panels, a boiler/heat pump system that provides hot water and warmth, and automatic louver-covered windows.

Team Germany, made up of 24 students, hails from the Technische Universität Darmstadt and achieved great marks in all of the categories, scoring a total of 908 points out of a possible 1,000. Team Illinois won 2nd place with 897 points, while Team California, favored to win earlier this week, took 3rd place with 863. Congratulations to all of these teams on their incredible projects! We hope that many of the technologies and advances in design we saw during the Decathlon will filter out into commercial and residential homes around the world.

+ Team Germany’s surPLUShome

+ Solar Decathlon Standings & Scores

+ Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage

+ Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Photo Gallery >

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  1. Virginia Tech's Lumenha... June 28, 2010 at 2:01 am

    […] time in one year that the team from Virginia Tech has competed with the Lumenhaus. Back at the US Solar Decathlon in October, the team finished 13th overall out of 20 teams with 704 points. In the ensuing months […]

  2. Stuttgart University's ... June 22, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    […] evident in the home+ by Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences. The beautiful shimmering photovoltaic-covered exterior is actually far more complicated on the inside, providing highly energy efficient heating and […]

  3. chifeef October 20, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    This house cost about 900k to make. I’m not sure how much it would cost on the market. There were other houses that were constructed at much lower costs, 150k to 300k, with an expected market price of 80k to 230k. Check out and look at the team videos. There were a few amazing, affordable homes.

  4. jabberlope October 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks, bobcopter79! 400k is not as cheap as I would have hoped for mass adoption, but at least its not another unattainable Fortress of Solitude type budget…

  5. Tycus October 18, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    If i could get a brake down of how everything was sourced and constructed, I would start saving my $400,000 immediately.

  6. bobcopter79 October 18, 2009 at 1:44 am

    the average cost of the houses in the competition was $400,000. I assume this house was on the higher side of the average.

  7. bobcopter79 October 18, 2009 at 1:42 am

    the average cost of the homes in the competition was $400,000.

  8. jabberlope October 17, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I wonder if we can get any idea in respect to cost?

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