The heat is on (literally) in Madrid at the Solar Decathlon, and the students reppin' the School of Architecture of the Vallès (ETSAV) are bringing their A-game to the competition with their house, the LOW3. The solar house is named for the fact that it is low energy and low impact, but it differentiates itself by touting that it's also low cost (an attribute that people don't typically associate with green technology). In keeping with that vein, the design of the house is utilitarian, without any frills or distractions from its goal of energy efficiency. Is the LOW3 your favorite house? Let us know in the comments below!
The LOW3 combines passive solar architecture with bioclimatic optimization to minimize the house’s energy demand. The team chose to use building integrated solar panels (BIPVs) on the roof and sides of the envelope and solar thermal systems throughout the home to supply the inhabitants with power. In addition to the green technology used in the home, the materials that compose it are sustainable and local.
In order to make the LOW3 as versatile as possible, the team used modular building systems in the design, making it easy to customize and expand when the needs of its occupants change.