How the Czech and Austrian teams designed their entries for the California climate.
The Solar Decathlon Europe is not until 2014, but two European teams are competing stateside this year representing the Czech Republic and Austria.
Designed by students at the Czech Technical University, Air House targets a demographic familiar to the students, their parents—the 50+ empty nesters. The team cites data that states that senior housing represents 20% of Czech households and that number is growing. Conceptualized as weekend country house, it transitions to a permanent residence as the owners retire.
LISI from Team Austria surprisingly blurs the line between inside and outside. Large retractable sliding glass doors on the north and south sides disappear into the core areas leaving the living open to the elements, more like a covered courtyard than an interior. Lightweight curtains wrap the house for privacy and extra shade when low sun angles are at their most intense.