The project Lumenhaus designed and developed by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University came in first at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 in Madrid.
The Solar Decathlon is a forum for research and development of innovative, eco-friendly energy technologies and high-performance buildings. Schneider Electric, a French global company for electric equipment, sponsors the initiative for the following two years and collaborated on 8 of the 17 introduced projects. Additional the US ministry for economy and technology sponsored the initiative focusing mainly on energy efficiency.
Lumen is Latin for light and Haus is German for house, so the name implements the purpose.
The zero energy house points into a future of solar energy and more awareness of environment and ecology. But unlike others the attention was also drawn towards comfort. The project combines optimum energy efficiency with no waiving of luxury.
The energy is supplied by a huge solar panel roof and many more of the newest solar technologies.
An integrated weather forecast station feats the smart home with changing weather conditions allowing the responsive architecture to adapt correspondingly.
In terms of design the project concentrates on an open air feeling as well as an optimal light yield. The entire house can be controlled by a computer or even a smart phone giving the user the power to overrule the computer. A nice feature of the equipped software is an overview of all energy consuming devices in and around the house resulting in a more thoughtful use of energy. And at last for people how like to move a lot, the house is as a whole transportable via special equipped transport devices for a truck.
I personally like the fact that it is on the one hand a zero energy house but on the other hand has no limitations in comfort and design.
If you want to no more see for yourself.