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Sun-Powered RE:Focus House Set to Shine at Europe’s Solar Decathlon
The University of Florida recently unveiled a stunning reinterpretation of a traditional North Florida Cracker House that will be soaking up the sun’s rays at the 2010 European Solar Decathlon. The energy-efficient home brings the traditional vernacular into modern times with a number of high-tech advances including solar passive design, photovoltaic panels, and a prefabricated modular construction. Their RE:FOCUS House has traveled across the pond and is currently under construction in Madrid for the “World Cup” of solar homes, which kicks off today!
The University of Florida Solar Decathlon team drew inspiration for their project from a traditional North Florida home called the Cracker House, which is known for its energy efficiency, natural ventilation, and use of local materials. The RE:Focus house features a simple design that separates the living and dining area from the bedroom with a breezeway and porches on either side. The home is naturally ventilated and oriented for best solar access and features shading to help keep the home cool in the hot, humid south.
Solar panels cover the entire roof as well as the Southern facade for a total system of 14.6 kW, which should provide more than enough energy for the one bedroom home. The home is prefabricated using 8 x 16 foot modules, which can be added in various configurations for larger homes or complexes. Energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, plus the use of reclaimed, reused and recycled materials add to the sustainability of this home. Go Gators!
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