All image credits: IAAC
The solar decathlon in Washington looked like so much fun that they wanted to join the party in Europe, and so it is opening today in Madrid. The purpose is "To educate the general public on renewable energy, energy efficiency and the technologies available to help them reduce their energy consumption" and "To clearly demonstrate that solar houses can be built without sacrificing energy efficiency or comfort, and that they can be both attractive and affordable."
They are also really pushing the envelope on design, as demonstrated with the FabLab House from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.
The FabLab House is fabricated out of digitally cut plywood, assembled in the shop and then disassembled and delivered to the site. Their blog is in Catalan, so we pick up a description from Designboom:
The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has designed and
fabricated the 'fab lab house' as their official entry into the competition. The 75 m2 house is suitable for a family of 4 and the use of light wood as its main structural component makes it possible to assemble the house in fifteen days.
IAAC's vision from the start was to achieve a new model of industrialization rather than simply resorting to mass standardization. By utilizing new production techniques and the latest in digital machines, IAAC saw each product being unique and adaptable to a specific set of issues. In the case of the 'fab lab house', climatic conditions were considered in the shape and structure of its design. By working with models and climatic data, a paraboloid form was shaped and distorted to achieve an optimal orientation for summer in various cities around the world. The shape also allowed for a large volume while minimizing on the external surface area. The dwelling is elevated off the ground on three legs, allowing for natural ventilation as well as a space for outdoor activities.
More at Designboom.