Peter Leah

Team Japan's Omotenashi Solar Decathlon House Bridges the Gap Between Tradition and Modernity

by , 09/17/12

Chiba University, Japanese Omotanashi House, 2012 European Solar Decathlon, green house, green home, solar home, solar-powered home, Solar Decathlon 2012, Madrid Solar Decathlon, solar prefab, prefab home, photovoltaics

One interesting addition to the kitchen area is a vegetable propagator that provides the perfect growing conditions for carrots and onions — although any root vegetable can grow in there. The propagator utilizes LED lights to promote vegetable growth throughout year, again combining interesting aesthetics with the more practical purpose of food production.

Another innovative design found in the home was a plant container that double as a LED lantern. Several can be found inside, and they provide support for plants and light for the living area at night. They are also movable, so if you happen to be outside on the patio, you can easily take an unobtrusive light source with you.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a design fit for the Japanese without a bit of hi-tech wizardry! The computer monitored temperature controls and the battery storage from the rooftop solar panels (that are indistinguishable from normal roof tiles) are well hidden from view, but easily accessible to the residents. The integrated software is easy to use, ensuring that residents achieve optimum energy efficiency.

Chiba University, Japanese Omotanashi House, 2012 European Solar Decathlon, green house, green home, solar home, solar-powered home, Solar Decathlon 2012, Madrid Solar Decathlon, solar prefab, prefab home, photovoltaics

By contrast, the far side of the building has incorporated a zen-like calm, with a walkway leading to a classic Japanese pool. One could imagine this becoming home to a few Koi, providing a thoroughly relaxing escape that is within reach.

The bathroom is functional, equipped with a shower, sink and toilet. The bathroom itself is tucked away at the side of the building and is linked to the water recycling system where appropriate.

“Omotenashi” roughly translates to “thoughtfully and sincerely conveying a feeling of consideration to those who you encounter”. In our opinion the thought has been well-integrated into the design.

+ Omotenashi House

+ More Solar Decathlon Coverage on Inhabitat

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