The Fab Lab House wins Solar Decathlon Europe people’s choice award

More than 20,000 people have visited the most popular solar house in Madrid, produced by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).

IAAC announced that will apply in the next edition of Solar Decathlon Europe in 2012.

Prince Felipe said it looked like a boat but the spectacular house produced by Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia was also called “peanut house” “cinnamon submarine,” “forest zeppelin” or “whale belly” .

The queues to visit the house have greatly surprised the team of the Fab Lab House during the ten days of competition: more than 20,000 people have visited the solar house. The team has been awarded with the people’s choice award, ex aequo with the University Cardenal Herrera. “This is a really important award for us – said Daniel Ibañez, Co-Director of the project – because compared to other houses we wanted to achieve a very human house. We wanted to make a house to live more than a technology showroom.”

However the house has also introduced significant technological innovations such as the world’s most efficient flexible solar panels, made with both Spanish and American technology, what is being creating a great interest on companies and people who visited the house and it represents a significant breakthrough in the architectural integration of solar systems. “We wanted to overcome the idea that a solar house is a traditional house with solar panels on top and a lot of technology inside. Our project is a full solar house, a new generation of building that visitors have come to appreciate.” says the co-director of the project.

“The competition has been a great way to push the spirit of innovation in the field of architecture and construction in these times of crisis. We will propose that future editions will add tests where they value passive energy solutions in the design of buildings rather than the high consumption of energy to achieve comfort conditions. A solar house competition in Europe should overcome the American technical understanding, and bring values related to outdoor space and the social use of energy” says Vicente Guallart, Director of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Guallart also announces that the IAAC, along with its technology partners, will apply again at the next European contest edition.

So far the house has already attracted the interest of the public and the media. The house has been put up for sale from € 45,000 + VAT and there are already several orders booked. On the web various house configurations are defined: Cottage (12m2), Shelter (24 m2), Studio (36 m2), House (60 +60 m2) and Villa (96 +96 m2).

The project, which involved architects and experts from 20 countries, is being developed by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), The Center for Bits and Atoms from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and  the worldwide network of Fab Labs. The project was carried out with the collaboration of a large group of companies, led by Endesa, Schneider Electric, Visoren, Roca, Santa & Cole, Vinçon and Nani Marquina.

Fotos Adrià Goula