Casa Alemana, Solar Energy Modular Home

The “Casa Alemana” is a prototype of an energy-efficient house based on the “Solar Decathlon” contest-winning design from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. The house demonstrates new, innovative German construction technologies for reducing home energy use by making the most of solar energy. Learn more about “Casa Alemana”. The “Casa Alemana” won, both in years 2007 and 2009, the international competition “Solar Decathlon” promoted by the United States Department of Energy.

For more information about the project you can visit them here at

Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon

Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon

As I have mentioned already on another post I was impressed with the Chinese design for the Solar Decathlon. The Shipping container Y Container home submitted by Shanghai’s Tongji University embraces cargotecture in a modern way. Not only with the home design shape but also the six recycled shipping container structure also is easy to transport, energy efficient and incorporates sustainable technology.

The design offers up an off grid way of life with three veranda areas as well as an open porch. Wooden screens extend the facade of the perimeter and can be rolled back to open up the interior.

The roof as like many other shipping container home designs utilizes them for photovoltaic panels but what is a little different is the heat build up is transferred into the shipping containers floor for heating as well as heating water. Vacuum insulation has also been utilized to help with heat loss and gain.

The icing on the cake being the Y shape itself, not just a gimmick but it offers up natural ventilation as it can tunnel in air from whichever direction a wind or breeze is available. Hot air meets at the central triangular area where the containers join and is ventilated out while the cool air continues to circulate.

Its designed round cheap home designs for couples in Shanghai. Yet this same design and model could be used anywhere by anyone. I often here critics talking of “I couldn’t live in that” when they refer to shipping container homes but at the same time they aren’t thinking of people trying to get on the housing ladder or people that are looking for a low cost form of sustainable housing. I pretty much love everything the house has to offer, its well thought through and should be a home that goes into production.

Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon  Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon

Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon  Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon Team China’s Y Shipping Container Home For The Solar Decathlon


Solar Decathlon Entries Offering Up Some Amazing Energy Efficient Modern Homes.

image China’s Tongji University offer up this shipping container home for new couples on a budget.Appalachian State University entry, the Solar Homestead Team Canada - TRTL design is based on the mound shape of Southern Alberta’s Native peoples' homes. The perFORM[D] House by Florida State University Hawaii's Model home Re_home, by the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign The Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem was the inspiration for the University of Maryland’s WaterShed house. Middlebury College designed this 2 bedroom gabled home. It has a green wall in the kitchen and its primary focuses were family orientation in communal areas. Victoria University of Wellington From New Zealand entered with First Light Ohio State’s enCORE is a family friendly energy-efficient solution. Stevens Institute of Technology partnered with Habitat to create Empowerhouse. This 1 bedroom home offers up great energy efficiency that consumes 90% less than most homes for heating and cooling. INhome offered up the Purdue design home which has a self watering green wall, air purification system and also conserves warm and cool air Team Belgium’s E-Cube - Modular home

Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology offer up the CHIP home a house of the future which has a layer of "outsolation and its energy use can be controlled with an iPAD application  The State University of New Jersey and New Jersey Institute of Technology - created the ENJOY House which has an inverted roof hip that is calibrated for optimal solar energy and rainwater collection

 Team Florida’s Flex House offers passive cooling and shuttering to reduce heat. The Solar Roofpod is from Team New York - based on reclaiming wasted roof top spaces.

4D comes from Team Massachusetts utilizing passive cooling aswell as still keeping the home simple in design.   Living Light’s UT Solar Decathlon House - Designed by the University of Tennessee

Unit 6 Unplugged by Team Tidewater Virginia to create a solar home with a beautiful porch and floor-to-ceiling windows.

The 2011 Solar Decathlon has seen 20 teams enter the competition from around the world at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. it opens on September the 23rd and well worth taking a look if your in the area. I find the most interesting entry from China doesn’t offer up anything too fancy but I do find a lot of the entries a bit rectangular in design. Nothing wrong with it but the China’s Tongji University design seems to offer something a bit more interesting in shape. Its a personal choice though. Plenty of ideas on show as well as unique and interesting buildings.