The University of Nottingham recently unveiled their H.O.U.S.E, a stunning sun-powered home that will be heating up the competition at the European Solar Decathlon, which kicks off this Friday in Madrid. The Brits are feverishly working on the construction of their two-story prefabricated modular home, which adheres to several stringent design codes. H.O.U.S.E amazingly meets German Passivhaus Institute standard, UK Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 (Zero-carbon), and the Lifetime Homes standard. On top of that, the team from the University of Nottingham will be serving a meal to competing teams entirely grown from their home’s garden.

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H.O.U.S.E, or “House Optimizing the Use of Solar Energy”, was designed as a starter home for small families — its simple L-shaped design could easily be integrated into a larger housing development. The courtyard is surrounded on two sides by the house and on one side by glazing, which helps establish a comfortable micro climate. Net-zero energy is achieved thanks to a PV array that covers 24 sq meters of the roof and a solar hot water system that covers 5 sq meters. Skylights are situated in the extra available roof space.

The prefab modular home also features an innovative low-energy, evaporative cooling system designed by the University and its partners. A small footprint and two stories allows for a courtyard and an organic garden. The home’s garden has been designed in order to prepare a meal for their fellow competitors. Sat Bains, a Nottingham-based Michelin star chef and Ian Dexter a Chelsea Show Award-winning landscape designer were brought in to help conceive the menu, which blends traditional British ingredients with a Spanish twist. H.O.U.S.E already made its debut at EcoBuild 2010 in London earlier this spring and will now compete against teams from around the world — kinda like the World Cup for prefab homes.

+ Solar Decathlon Coverage on Inhabitat