LUMENHAUS wins Solar Decathlon Europe

After nine exciting days of strategic competition, the Virginia Tech LumenHAUS was declared best in the world at the Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid, Spain. Seventeen research universities from around the world gathered to demonstrate their solar-powered houses to the public. In addition to winning first place overall, the LumenHAUS team placed first in the Architecture category. 2002 Pritzker Architecture Prize recipient Glenn Murcutt served as jury chair for the Architecture contest, judging the quality of the houses’ architectural design, consistency, spatial adaptability, strategic bioclimatic application, and integration of technological systems.

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Speaking for the jury, Murcutt said, “the jury applauds the intelligence of the further development of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in the multi-layering of two long north and south facades that invites enjoyable variations in habitation and use, subtle adjustments of light, privacy, and aesthetic expression; this scheme was exemplary in its landscape design, its innovative spatial concepts that have been achieved through simple movement of specific furniture pieces.”

The LumenHAUS received other awards, including second place in the Communication and Social Awareness category, third in the Industrialization and Market Viability category, third in the Comfort Conditions category, and third in the Appliances and Functioning category. The LumenHAUS also received third place in Lighting Design.

With the Royal Palace and Cathedral in the background, the setting for the Villa Solar along the Manzanares River made a prestigious stage for the international event. Three continents and seven countries were represented. Germany, the leading proponent worldwide for alternative and solar energy, sent four teams to compete. The University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim finished second with a project of high precision and impeccable quality. Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences finished third.

Each team constructed a sustainable, self-sufficient, and comfortable house, powered exclusively by solar energy. The houses were evaluated in ten categories: Architecture, Construction and Engineering, Solar Systems and Hot Water, Energy Balance, Comfort Conditions, Usage (functionality and operation of household appliances), Communications and Social Media, Industrialization and Market Viability, Innovation, and Sustainability.

Lumenhaus’ victory garners worldwide press.
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