The top 3 homes of this year’s competition:
1. Team Austria: Vienna University of Technology – LISI Home 2. Team Las Vegas: University of Nevada Las Vegas – DesertSol Home 3. Team Czech Republic: Czech Technical University – AIR House
Over the last two weeks, 19 teams competed in 10 contests set by the U.S. Department of Energy, each designed to gauge how well the houses perform under a variety of criteria. Each contest is worth a maximum of 100 points for a competition total of 1,000 points, and all contests are juried by industry professionals. All of the 19 teams spent nearly two years designing their homes to meet the rigorous requirements, which included developing a structure that is affordable, attractive, and easy to live in; able to maintain comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions; can supply energy to household appliances for cooking, cleaning, and entertainment; provide adequate hot water; and most importantly, produce as much or more energy than it consumes. The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002 at the National Mall in Washington DC, and the 2013 competition marks the first time that it has been held on the west coast in Irvine, CA.
The LISI House gives new meaning to the term “open-concept” by placing a strong emphasis on outdoor living and social interaction. The student team created a home with pure open plan where the living, dining and kitchen areas seamlessly connect to the north and south patios, essentially creating one giant room that can be fully-exposed and filled with fresh air. But understanding that occupants might not always enjoy such voyeurism, the student team developed a series of exterior curtains that can be pulled to fully enclose the home, keeping peering eyes out and the interior space cool and breezy. You can learn more about the winning design in our feature here.
+ Team Austria’s LISI House
+ Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage
+ Solar Decathlon
Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat