Solar-Powered Techstyle Haus’ Futuristic Fabric Shell Drastically Reduces Energy Consumption

by , 07/10/14

Techstyle haus, 2014 solar decathlon Europe, solar decathlon Europe, European solar decathlon, sheerfill, energy efficient, rhode island school of design, sheerfill membrane, solar decathlon, solar home, solar power, solar panel,

The 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe is an international competition that challenges 20 competing collegiate teams to design and build solar-powered, passive homes with cost-effective, consumer appeal. After two years of planning and design, students from the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, and Germany’s Erfurt University of Applied Sciences recently completed the construction of Techstyle Haus. After completion, the house was shipped off to France, where it will make its debut in late June. The 800 square foot home is built atop a wood and steel base, but will be covered by Sheerfill, a curved fiberglass fabric that will maximize the structure’s thermal properties.

Related: Low Impact Maison Reciprocity Home Boasts a “Living” Brise-Soleil Modular Building Shell

“With this first-ever textile passive fabric house, we’re hoping to change the way people think about building materials and inspire them to push the limits of architecture, design and engineering,” said Kim Dupont-Madinier, an architecture student at RISD. In place of solid walls, students installed five structural steel ribs that hold together stretched layers of Sheerfill fabric. Techstyle Haus’ use of Sheerfill is the first time the fabric has ever been used in residential construction.

Inside, the Techstyle Haus features an open plan layout centered on a compact technical core that stores the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical components. The covered core also leads to a bathroom, kitchen space, a small upstairs loft and extra storage space. An ADA deck surrounds the house and embedded planters filter stormwater and greywater onsite. The solar house will also draw almost all of its power from a flexible solar array affixed to its curved fabric rooftop.

+ Techstyle Haus

+ Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage

Via Rhode Island School of Design

Images © Kristen Pelou

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  1. Audrey Fletcher May 29, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Where can the flexible solar array be bought? What other flexible solar items are availible? Used to see a lot about flexible solar roof tiles?
    Where can the sheerfill fabric be obtained?

  2. May 29, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Where can you buy the flexible solar array? What ever happened to the solar flexible roof tiles? Are there any other flexible solar products? Where is Sheerfill available?

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