Facebook Pixel

Solar Decathlon 2010. Madrid

July 06, 2010

Solar Decathlon 2010. Madrid

One of the key points of sustainable planning is high density and low land occupancy. Solar Decathlon develops prototypes of isolated dwellings or small housing groups which promote disperse developments, very far from the advised densities which are around 100 dph (dwellings per hectare).

a+t is for collective housing in built urban nuclei.

a+t is interested in this solar housing, not because of the type of housing in itself, clearly unsustainable from the urban point of view but for certain specific solutions which can contribute to the compact city and dense groups of residential units.


LUMENHAUS, by Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, was the winner of the competition

The roof is sloped to collect rainwater that is filtered for potable (drinkable) use in the house, while water used in the house (greywater –from the shower, bathroom sink and clothes washer) goes through a series of bio-filters in the surrounding landscape where it is cleaned for non-potable use

The Eclipsis System is an advanced building facade comprising two layers: a metal shutter shade and a translucent insulating panel

The shutter shade slides along the north and south facades, providing protection from direct sunlight while simultaneously allowing for indirect, natural lighting, views to the exterior and privacy to those inside. The sliding insulating panel is a translucent polycarbonate panel filled with aerogel

Vehicle used to carry the house to the final location

The technical core of the house



Ikaros, by University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim, won the second prize

The special feature of the house is the newly developed zigzag facade. It gives the building its unique character and also functions as a visual/sun protection. It ensures an ideal use of the daylight as it changes throughout the day and the seasons, creating different effects of light and shadow

Principally, it is true that photovoltaic cells are most efficient when positioned at an optimal angle to the sun. We mount the photovoltaic system with a very small tilt angle. In this way we can use the roof surface in two different ways: for generating electricity and for cooling the indoor air. The latter is done by using the low sky temperature at night to cool down water on the roof


Stuttgart Team, by Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, remained in third place

The facades are covered with PV modules, which provide certain transparency. Therefore the modular and layered character of the building is seen from the exterior

The resulting gaps are used for lighting, ventilation, heating in winter and passive cooling in summer. The energy tower contributes to the interaction of wind and evaporative cooling, producing a pleasant indoor climate in hot and dry regions



Living Equia, by Fachhochschule fur Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, second in the Solar Systems contest

Vertical fins with integrated thin-film photovoltaics serve as shading elements. The protective skin of the house is made of breamed wood, featuring a distinctive and homogeneous appearance. The roof faces south and is inclined for optimal solar use

The interior of 74 m² allows different possibilities for individual living arrangements. The North-Eastern area of the house, defined by the light axes, incorporates all important functions in one segment: The bathroom, the kitchenette, and arranged behind, the engineering room, hidden from the inhabitants

Two light axes running North-South and East-West open the building. They align the house with the four points of the compass and emphasize the communication of the corpus with the sun. Thus the time of day can always be felt and seen


Passive solar architecture with bioclimatic optimization minimizes the energy demand of the LOW3 house, by Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña


The photovoltaic technology integrated into the building, together with the solar thermal systems, create an energetically self-sufficient house

Lighting, heating and ventilation fittings are fixed directly to the ceiling

This proposal incorporates an innovative exploration of the habitability of the in-between spaces. Outer skin is a standard greenhouse. An extra-interior volume is created above the main closed spaces


Public's favourite: Fab lab house, by the Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluña

The house is lifted up from the ground, creating a shadow space beneath it. Despite the opportunities provided by the earth's natural insulation, the design team opted in favor of exploring other avenues (ventilation strategies, evaporative cooling, creating a structural core with thermal inertia, exploiting wind dynamics...)
A series of reinforced frame bars create a ribcage in this space, and they define a minimal geometric distance, allowing total freedom but without technical overkill, complicated construction or structural excesses. The structure and the skin become one and the same


Luuku, by Aalto University, in Finland, first place in the Architecture contest, co-winner with Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University  and Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña

This house has been built with timber based materials, in a variety of applications from structure, insulation, cladding, interior floor, wall and ceiling finishes

1:1 mock-up joint between flooring and exterior wall. Wood is used for moisture and heat buffering qualities and applications in very wet areas such as bathrooms

Narrow window at the North facade integrated in the thick wall, made of whitened nordic wood


Re Focus, by the University of Florida, Internet users' favourite. Heavily influenced by the North Florida vernacular Cracker house, architectural elements include a covered open porch, a breezeway or “dog trot” oriented to the prevailing wind, and a porous, breathable building skin.

Two energy meters, one measures the consumed energy and the other the produced energy

The southern wall of the living room module is covered with solar panels. These are panels of cylindrical solar tubes. Unlike a traditional flat panel, the cylindrical shape allows them to collect solar energy from any angle. These panels also function as a screen, protecting the interior from direct sunlight.


Armadillo Box, by École National Supérieure darchitecture de Grenoble, third in the Electrical Energy Balance contest



Nottingham House, by the University of Nottingham. The use of two storeys meant that it is possible to free up enough of the architectural footprint to provide a courtyard garden

The courtyard garden is an integral part of the house design, as it provides a focus for the public areas of the house. It provides privacy, a shaded space in summer as well as providing enough space for the residents to grow its own food


Napevomo House, by Arts et Métiers Paris Tech, third in the Solar Systems and Hot Water contest

Solar energy production has been optimized by a cylindric-parabolic collector. It is a micro-cogeneration system that produces electric power and hot water at the same time

Self-irrigated green wall and roof that helps natural cooling of the house, thus providing comfort during summer. Irrigation water will come from rainwater collection and natural recycling of wastewater (with a lombric-based filtering process)


Solarkit, by the University of Sevilla

Exterior cladding of the bioclimatic towers made of ceramics striped elements with U shaped pieces

Thermal capture through vacuum tube systems



SMLHOUSE, by the CEU Cardenal Herrera University, first in the Industrialization and Market Viability contest.

The use of relatively recent materials allows to overlap enclosure and cladding with integrated photovoltaic panels

The advantage of the manipulation that Corian, in this case, allows, is essential to adjusting the support and the photovoltaic panel without sacrificing the image of the facade for the sake of either of the two elements

The Solar Decathlon competition establishes the dimensional limit of 74 m2. The house exhausts the possible configurations of 6 prefebricated modules, around two longitudinal courtyards. The aim is to place the minimum courtyards in each module

View of the Corian-panel North facade


Wuppertal Team, by Bergische Unversität Wuppertal. On the western terrace, a relaxing area and several mobile elements are located. The outer skin is a polyester aluminum-coated on both sides curtain, which allows views from the interior

The design of the southern façade reflects the concept of “solar energy”. On a surface of 27 m2, photovoltaic modules generate an individual graphic picture

The main entrances to the lot are on the northern and western side. A freestanding monolithic cube concentrates on two levels all necessary sanitary elements, the building services and two sleeping areas on a minimal footprint



a+t guarantees to fulfill that which is established by the Spanish Personal-Data Protection Act 15/1999 and all other applicable legislation. a+t adopts the technical, organizational, and security measures required to guarantee confidentiality and integrity of the information.
If you want to unsuscribe from a+t newsletter click here.

condiciones cerrar

Subscribe to our newsletter

Enter your Email:
checkbox I've read and agree to terms and conditions
If you want to unsuscribe click here



If you want to become a part of a+t team, please send us your CV here: aplust@aplust.net



We use own and third-party cookies to improve your user experience with us. If you continue to use this site we will asume that you are accepting this + info > x