TU Darmstadt’s design for Solar Decathlon 2007 is based on three basic principles, creating a pure and calm architectural appearance.
- The first is the principle of layers. The floor plan is divided in concentric zones, arranged around a central core like skins of an onion. These layers divide different energetic zones and allow differentiated use of the building depending on daytime and season.
- The second principle lies in the construction of a floor platform for furniture and technology. Built as a raised floor, it contains all invisible building technologies and provides connections of all systems, like a plug-and-play system.
- Third, the house shall provide ample room on a small footprint and therefore is organized in zones rather than in several rooms. This idea is directly connected with the platform, which can comprise all furniture.
- The team focuses on providing high living and thermal comfort using passive systems, such as a highly insulated building envelope, natural shading and innovative materials, such as phase-changing materials for thermal mass.
- This concept is complemented by building-integrated, highly-efficient active systems, such as a combined reversible heat-pump, and different kinds of building-integrated photovoltaics — highly-efficient monocrystalline cells on the roof, translucent, glass-embedded cells as shading and weather shield over the porch and amorphous silicon modules, which are integrated into the facade louver doors.