We all know how good spinach is for your body, but did you know that it is also good for your house? That’s the proposition behind the house designed by Matthew Coates and Tim Meldrum. Together, they have designed a residence which obtains its electricity from spinach, making it worthy of being declared the winner of Cradle to Cradle contest.

Well, saying that it is powered entirely by spinach is a bit of a stretch. In reality the house is powered by solar energy. To do this however, their design called for a house to be cladded with a solid-state photosynthetic solar cell based skin, whose main component for generating electricity from the sun is a protein called Photosystem I, which is derived from spinach. The system, still in its infancy, was developed by MIT researchers and has proven to be a solid avenue of pursuit in the search for more efficient solar cells.

The residence incorporated many other sustainable features. It was designed with passive solar strategies in mind, using thermal mass and shading devices where appropriate. It has a landscaped roof garden designed to collect and filter stormwater . It recycles black and grey water to be used in garden, which in turn provide fruits and vegetables to the occupants. Soy-based wall panels and recycled concrete materials are used within the structure providing a sustainable alternative to standard construction materials.

The most intriguing aspect of the residence lies in the way that it works within a community. The excess energy developed by the spinach-based skin is sent back to the grid for the neighborhood to use. The grey and black water recycling systems have enough capacity to treat the effluent from the neighbors and the garden is designed to be used by the community.

+ Cradle to Cradle Home Winner
+ Cradle to Cradle Homes Reviewed on Inhabitat
+ Green, leafy spinach may soon power more than Popeye’s biceps @ MIT


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  1. autoversicherung October 28, 2010 at 1:19 am

    It took me a long time to search online, only your site open up the fully details, bookmarked and thanks again.

    – Kris

  2. Will Sullivan's Journer... August 6, 2007 at 4:18 am

    […] Inhabitat » SPINACH POWERED HOUSE Is there anything spinach can’t do? […]

  3. Spinach: Powers Popeye ... July 26, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    […] The Spinach Powered House feature on Inhabitat […]

  4. rantlust » Blog A... June 27, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    […] out you can use spinach to derive the energy to run your house as well See here All they need to do is grow olives and press some olive oyl from […]

  5. Spinach Powered House: ... June 26, 2007 at 6:56 am

    […] (Via) […]

  6. :: Green Bubble :: &raq... June 25, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    […] Diseñada por Matthew Coates y Tim Meldrum. Para mas información haz CLICK aqui. […]

  7. AnonymousChicken June 24, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Quick question, smart guys… not that I despise the idea, actually it’s pretty cool…

    But who the bloody hell can afford the amount of land nessecary to even consider building that (let alone, afford to build that)?

  8. 11amDesign June 24, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Very nice design … the sky appears to have contrails … is this on purpose?

  9. ajay bharadwaj June 24, 2007 at 10:41 am

    i think it is wonderful not only the breakthrough but opening new vistas for similar research.i heartily congratulate them. as a senior arhitect in the profession for 40 years.ajay bharadaj

  10. Spinach-powered soy hou... June 24, 2007 at 10:21 am

    […] Inhabitat reports of a green-roofed spinach-powered house with soy-based walls: We all know how good spinach is for your body, but did you know that it is also good for your house? That’s the proposition behind the house designed by Matthew Coates and Tim Meldrum. Together, they have designed a residence which obtains its electricity from spinach… […]

  11. Protrombina June 24, 2007 at 10:05 am

    can we include other veggies?

  12. Liz June 23, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Sound very interesting, hope they develop all the system to be able for all of us

  13. cball June 22, 2007 at 5:40 pm


  14. Ashley June 22, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    As an aspiring architect and a passionate environmentalist, I say “Bravo!” I’m so thrilled to see great minds put to good use. This is wonderful! I hope this becomes a normal thing in the not-too-distant future.

  15. CultureFeast Weekly Rou... June 22, 2007 at 11:42 am

    […] house powered by spinach electricity? See it for yourself at […]

  16. DanielthePoet June 22, 2007 at 11:40 am

    I am thoroughly impressed. I’d love to read more about the spinach experiment. Gotta love those MIT kids. You definitely get my vote for most interesting post of the day!

  17. Susie June 22, 2007 at 11:36 am

    wow, that’s pretty amazing… great green design site by the way. I also write about the environment. Just stumbled you.

  18. lazy links | Decorazzi June 22, 2007 at 10:29 am

    […] A house for Popeye at Inhabitat. […]

  19. Tadpole June 22, 2007 at 7:50 am

    This is a fantastic idea. I think we need a lot more innovative thinking like this. It is my opinion that if more people made even a small move to make a change in their own lives, the collective impact will be enormous.

  20. Leann June 22, 2007 at 7:40 am

    Wow…that is very interesting. I never knew that could be done :-)

  21. Innovating with Food &l... June 21, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    […] 21st, 2007 Check out this house, which is powered by Spinach.  This may or may not be what health food nuts mean when they wax […]

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