Basque University students in Spain spanning various disciplines have combined their collective talents to create the Ekihouse - an innovative sustainable home set to be unveiled at this years European Solar Decathlon. They team aimed to create a simple design that can be easily replicated as a prefabricated model, yet has the potential to be altered and customized depending on individual needs and requirements. Ekihouse (Eki means sun in the Basque language), combines solar power with clever design to provide a simple and sustainable housing solution - read on to see how they have achieved their goals.
The rooftop PV array will provide the house with all anticipated electrical energy requirements. Half of these panels are positioned on four sliding plinths. This is intended for use on hot days, so the panels create a shaded patio area at the front of the building and allows more hot air inside the building to escape through the roof. This elegant design provides both a pleasant environment for residents to relax, while aiding with cooling the interior. The temperature regulation of the building is also assisted by an integrated misting system, using the principles of evaporative cooling whereby the water droplets evaporating extracts heat and causes a temperature drop.
The designers simplified the basic structural design, allowing for components to be easily replicated with minimal waste during the prefabrication process. The central hub that provides the indoor living space is a wooden construct that is largely built offsite prior to arrival.
The interior has also been kept fairly basic and this ethos is also seen in the furniture, which has been designed for multiple uses in a limited space. The kitchen units and the bathroom are the only set appliances, allowing many permutations and combinations for the remaining living space.
The living area itself is enclosed in a steel mesh facade. The perforated steel is solid, but provides several functions in aiding with privacy, shading and allowing natural light into the interior from all angles. They have chosen a green color for aesthetic reasons, and with the assistance of a local company (Imar), have created an artistic design incorporated into the walls. At night time, when the interior is lit up via the LED lighting, the outer appearance of the building has an alluring appearance, adding to the appeal of the building and providing a certain individuality as these designs are customizable.
The team have been onsite at the Villa Solar in Madrid since the 3rd September and construction of the Basque entry for the European Solar Decathlon is well under way with the much anticipated event opening its doors to the public the following week. The houses will be judged and awarded points across ten categories and Inhabitat will keep you informed as to how the competition is progressing.