The 2010 Solar Decathlon is well underway in Madrid, Spain and a team of three universities from Berlin has already been attracting a lot of attention with their clean-lined Living Equia Home. Designed to run completely off the grid with all of the modern comforts of climate control, this submission is sure to keep the hot Madrid summer at bay. Here is our exclusive look at this impressive and stoic design.

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Aside from its striking black envelope, the home’s main visual feature is two strips of windows crossing each other through the middle of the house, beaming light into the interior throughout the day. A sophisticated cooling and heating system is incorporated using solar thermal panels and a heat pump. In the winter they work to heat the home and in the summer the thermal panels can shed heat at night. The walls and ceiling use a high-tech phase change material that can absorb much more heat than benign materials, helping maintain a comfortable interior temperature.

The roof is covered in a 6300 kWh monocrystalline solar array that makes more than enough energy for this house to keep the occupants comfy. We also dig the folding solar screen, although its usefulness is dubious. The black stained wooden exterior may be an ode to the physics principle of a Black Body, the hypothetical highest efficiency of an object.

+ Living Equia

+ Solar Decathlon Coverage on Inhabitat