Weigh the anchor with the Lusation Autartec project
Built in a former coal mining region converted into artificial lakes near Dresden, the floating house designed by the Fraunhofer Institute is fully autonomous. There’s no need for a generator or a connection to a dock: this top-of-the-range residence uses a combination of sustainable energy solutions to generate its own electricity. Solar cells located on the building charge up lithium polymer batteries hidden in the textile concrete walls and stairs. Heating and air conditioning are provided by a chimney and circuit powered by a saline solution that stores heat. This is then distributed using radio-control technology to achieve the exact temperature required. In summer, the damp outer faces of the building simply evaporate heat away from the walls. And as for water, there’s no need to import that either: hidden under the pontoon is a waste water treatment micro-plant. 100% independent.
Sunhouse 360°, the sunflower house
This house will make estate agents glad they no longer have to answer questions on the direction this or that room faces. The Marbella Sunhouse 360° is a house that, like sunflowers, can turn to face the sun the entire day, turning on the spot. You’ll never get tired of the view. But the house turns for a different reason: to expose an array of photovoltaic panels to the sun’s rays for as long as possible. The result is enough current for 100% LED lighting, with a heat pump and underfloor heating making this home both cosy and economical – its architects claim it uses up to 70% less energy.
Kasita – a Lego brick that’s conquering cities
Small, foldable, and you can take it wherever you want: 60 m2 modular accommodation designed in Austin, Texas, Kasita has everything to attract city dwellers looking for low rents – if only for its ability to squeeze into the tiniest gap in our dense and saturated cities, or to nestle into any available area and provide the required square footage. Fitted with batteries connected to solar panels, this smart home allows residents to set the temperature, light and music with their voice alone! And the ultimate luxury – just like a container, it’s easy to transport using an application. It means travel lovers can be sure they’ll never have to suffer from nostalgia for their home sweet home.
“B-10” – the aim of triple zero
Rarely has such a model student been given so many zeroes. Zero imported energy, zero waste, and zero fossil fuels used – in Stuttgart, ‘B-10’, a metal, glass and wooden box designed by architect Werner Sobek, is showing itself to be the perfect example both in terms of environmental friendliness and energy. The roof is fitted with 40 photovoltaic panels. One of the outside walls features bay windows formed of layers of ultra-insulating glass, keeping it warm in winter and cool in summer. Polluting binding materials such as plaster or adhesive are nowhere to be seen, giving way to polyurethane and concrete. And it’s made with 100% recyclable materials. The result: this busy home of 85 m2 generates twice as much energy (8300 kilowatts per year) as it consumes (4200 kW). In order not to waste this surplus, the house is fitted with an 11 kW/h lithium-ion battery to reuse energy after dark or during cloudy weather. And if more energy is still being produced, it also supplies two electric cars and bicycles as well as a neighbouring museum, the Weissenhof! ‘B-10’ can also identify which rooms it should heat based on whether residents are present or not on and variations in daylight. And of course, home automation plays a key role – residents can control the temperature and lights as well as opening windows using their phone. Ecocapsule, the caravan of the future
After all, respect for nature is every camper’s aim, isn’t it? The Slovakian architecture firm Nice Architects has taken this on board and designed a fully energy-independent caravan that promotes green energy generation. A retractable wind turbine and solar panels make sure the Ecocapsule is fully autonomous, and it can adapt both to weather conditions and the changing seasons. Any surplus electricity is stored in a battery. And a rainwater collection and filtration system adds the finishing touch. Now you can travel the world with an enviable carbon footprint – without compromising on comfort.
2016 EDF Pulse AwardsDiscover the projects competiting in the Smart Home category
To go further
50 shades of green housing
Innovation for smarter and greener homesThe house that grows inside a tree