Architecture

Swiss efficiency wins the day at 2017 Solar Decathlon

Swiss efficiency wins the day ...
The NeighborHub is designed by the Swiss Team, which hails from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg
The NeighborHub is designed by the Swiss Team, which hails from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg
View 13 Images
The NeighborHub is designed by the Swiss Team, which hails from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg
1/13
The NeighborHub is designed by the Swiss Team, which hails from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg
The Swiss Team came first out of a total of 11 teams competing this year, nine of which are from the United States, with the other coming from the Netherlands
2/13
The Swiss Team came first out of a total of 11 teams competing this year, nine of which are from the United States, with the other coming from the Netherlands
The NeighborHub is built from laminated veneer lumber (an engineered wood product)
3/13
The NeighborHub is built from laminated veneer lumber (an engineered wood product)
NeighborHub creators Swiss Team will take home US$300,000 in prize money following the win
4/13
NeighborHub creators Swiss Team will take home US$300,000 in prize money following the win
The NeighborHub is now going to be disassembled and returned to Fribourg, Switzerland, where it will be re-built and tested
5/13
The NeighborHub is now going to be disassembled and returned to Fribourg, Switzerland, where it will be re-built and tested
The NeighborHub's interior is filled with greenery
6/13
The NeighborHub's interior is filled with greenery
The idea behind the NeighborHub is to create a shared space that helps the community around it
7/13
The idea behind the NeighborHub is to create a shared space that helps the community around it
The NeighborHub's interior serves as both a dwelling and hub for the neighborhood that includes multifunctional spaces
8/13
The NeighborHub's interior serves as both a dwelling and hub for the neighborhood that includes multifunctional spaces
The NeighborHub's roof collects rainwater to grow food, as well as plants chosen to attract bees. Some of the water is also used for laundry
9/13
The NeighborHub's roof collects rainwater to grow food, as well as plants chosen to attract bees. Some of the water is also used for laundry
The NeighborHub's facade lifts upwards to open the home to the outside
10/13
The NeighborHub's facade lifts upwards to open the home to the outside
The NeighborHub's exterior walls are partially covered in solar panels
11/13
The NeighborHub's exterior walls are partially covered in solar panels
The NeighborHub is designed by the Swiss Team, which hails from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg
12/13
The NeighborHub is designed by the Swiss Team, which hails from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg
The NeighborHub is built from laminated veneer lumber (an engineered wood product)
13/13
The NeighborHub is built from laminated veneer lumber (an engineered wood product)

The 2017 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has come to a close in Denver. The competition tasks students with building prototype solar-powered houses and awards points based on categories including architecture, engineering, and innovation. This year's winner blends green design with a plan to encourage the surrounding community to get together and discuss ways to use less energy.

The NeighborHub is designed by the Swiss Team, which is made up of students from Swiss universities. It came first out of a total of 11 homes, nine of which derive from the United States, with the other exception from the Netherlands.

Externally, the NeighborHub is a pretty simple looking rectangular single-story home built from laminated veneer lumber (an engineered wood product), with ample glazing. Its facade is partially covered in solar panels which produce electricity and heat water. The facade is also operable and can be raised to open the home to the outside.

The dwelling is topped by a partially green roof. Rainwater is used to grow food and plants which attract bees, while leftover water is used for laundry. In a novel touch that's not for the squeamish, a dry toilet uses live worms to process human waste into compost.

The NeighborHub's roof collects rainwater to grow food, as well as plants chosen to attract bees. Some of the water is also used for laundry
The NeighborHub's roof collects rainwater to grow food, as well as plants chosen to attract bees. Some of the water is also used for laundry

Apart from its efficiency, the big idea behind the NeighborHub is to create a shared space that can aid the surrounding community.

On this note, its interior includes flexible multifunctional spaces that can aid the local area, including a large dining space for community meals, a conference room for educational workshops, and a bike repair area to promote cycling instead of car use.

The prototype home will now be disassembled and returned to Switzerland to be rebuilt and tested. The team will also take home US$300,000 in prize money, as this year's Solar Decathlon competition is the first to offer cash prizes (the other competing teams will also receive smaller prizes).

Sources: Solar Decathlon, Swiss Team

0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!