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Solar Philéas: Modular Apartment Upgrade for 120-Year-Old French Building Wins Energy Efficiency Prize at Solar Decathlon Europe
The Cap 44 building is part of the city’s heritage as one of the first reinforced concrete buildings in the world; a style that was later copied in thousands of buildings around the globe. The Atlantic Team wanted to fight against urban sprawl by reusing the structure to create new living spaces vertically rather than spreading further out into the neighborhood. In order to modernize the building, the team added longitudinal and transverse “cracks” to the building to let in natural light; a greenhouse with solar panels to the roof; and they will create a nearby urban farm to support local food production.
Each apartment unit will be situated to take advantage of thermal and structural characteristics inside the building and the outdated thermal envelope will be brought up to modern standards. Finally, prefabricated modules will be plugged into the upper floors, which can be moved and shifted around later on as needed. In order to demonstrate the concept, the team built a prototype apartment at the Decathlon’s Versailles location, which was unveiled on June 27th. The prototype consists of a top floor apartment with a plug-in module, along with part of the greenhouse, with over 750 square feet of living space.
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