Ecological Oscar in the Youth category goes to AIR House

    10/10/2014 - On Monday, 6 October 2014, for the sixth year running, ecological Oscars were presented by an international jury of experts at the Vinohrady Theatre in Prague. The AIR House, the energy self-sufficient house of the Czech Technical University (CTU) team, became the winner of the Youth category. The AIR House was designed and built by students for the Solar Decathlon competition. It is now nearing completion in the Prague district…

Continue reading...

AIR House

The AIR House will be open to the public on Wednesday, 3 November 2014, in the CTU campus.

The AIR House is an energy-self-sufficient experimental house, with which the Czech team received 1st place in Architecture and Energy Balance, 2nd place in Engineering, and 3rd place in Market Appeal, Comfort Zone and Hot Water contest in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. The final display took place Oct. 3–13, 2013, at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The overall 3rd place confirmed, that an integral design is the path to take. Check our news on the blog, facebook and flickr.

 

AIR House computer rendering
 

20 Houses  Today, we can hardly remember who came firts with the idea to enter the competition. We knew, it won't be easy to become one of the 20 selected teams from all over the world. Then, a single phone call has changed our lives.  20 university teams from all over the world are challenged to design, build and operate an energy self-sufficient solar house. We have applied for the competition at the end of 2011 and started to design. From that time on, we are supposed to create the house, build it, test it, disassemble it, transport to California and there in 9 days assemble again.

20 Houses

Today, we can hardly remember who came firts with the idea to enter the competition. We knew, it won't be easy to become one of the 20 selected teams from all over the world. Then, a single phone call has changed our lives.

20 university teams from all over the world are challenged to design, build and operate an energy self-sufficient solar house. We have applied for the competition at the end of 2011 and started to design. From that time on, we are supposed to create the house, build it, test it, disassemble it, transport to California and there in 9 days assemble again.

Blue piktograms describing 10 contests of Solar Decathlon


 

10 Contests

It is challenging to harmonise all disciplines, they influence mutually. This way of thinking is similar to our approach to sustainable architecture.

Like the Olympic decathlon, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon consists of 10 contests. Teams can earn points in task completions, in monitored performance and some of the features are evaluated by the  jury. 10 contests are designed to gauge how well the houses perform and how livable and affordable they are.

Graphic representing five faculties of Czech Technical University cooperating on the AIR House project


 

The CTU Team

To be part of the Solar Decathlon is a fantastic challenge. It enables us to experience the whole process of design and construction of the house.

We are proud to be the first Czech Republic team ever to enter the Competition. The students of the CTU Faculty of Architecture are the heart of the team. They closely cooperate with students from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the Faculty of Transportation and the University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings. We are 26 undergraduate, master‘s degree and Ph.D. students running a small sized company.

Scheme with a text: The cleanest energy is the one unconsumed.


 

Vision

We believe that the cleanest energy is the one that is never consumed – for building, operation, maintenance or disposal of the house.

The AIR HOUSE is designed as a zero energy house. It obtains all the energy needed from solar radiation. In the European Union, buildings are responsible for some 40% of energy use. Environmentally responsible architecture must have a minimum ecological impact throughout the whole life cycle of the building. The design is based on a “house within a house” energy concept. The AIR HOUSE is equipped with an elementary smart home control. Our health enhancing strategy is not limited to a technological solution or use of materials that present no health hazards. A modern man spends more than 90% of his life in the interior. The built environment should have a positive influence on the life quality of its inhabitants, to improve their surroundings physically, psychologically and socially.

Scheme of the traditional rural house with a barn, yard and a courtyard. Next to it is the scheme of the AIR House.


 

Our Concept

Appearance of AIR House went through dramatic changes during last two years. Especially when Solar village moved from Washington to Orange County Great Park. Instead of membrane concept which we entered comptetion with we bring to California elegant "house within the house".

The AIR HOUSE is designed for the generation of our parents (50+), the so-called “empty nesters”. We have chosen this target group because the senior housing, at present, 20% of the sum of households, in the Czech Republic will be more and more relevant. The concept combines a minimum interior living area with a generous outside area. We find inspiration in a typical Czech custom of spending weekends out in the country and in the tradition of minimal social housing.