The Casa PI Solar Decathlon house by team Unizar is the only project at Madrid's Villa Solar that boasts a circular structure and an elevator - and it is also one of two homes that have already been sold! Although the original solar-powered design did not call for an elevator, the home's new owner asked for one to be installed, putting the team's real-world flexibility to the test. This addition has caused some complications that have delayed completion, but the challenge has created an indispensable learning experience for the team, which is currently in second-to-last place.
Let’s put the elevator aside for a moment in order to recognize the value of Unizar’s unique Casa PI home, which relies on geometry to reduce overall surface size and therefore slash the home’s energy consumption. Using Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) to ensure optimum thermal performance, the Spanish team was also able to increase the project’s energy efficiency.
This combined with a unique energy-generating photovoltaic wall surrounding the home’s exterior perimeter contributes to a self-sufficient and portable dwelling. Albeit unfinished, we were impressed with Casa PI’s interior layout, which maximizes space. One half of the house has a living room cum study area, the kitchen occupies a slice in between this and the main bedroom, while a small private bathroom completes the home’s practical requirements. Although Casa PI definitely needs some work, we applaud the team’s remarkable perseverance.