Grid Positive Home Powers EVs, Recycles

ILEK (Institut für Leichtbau Entwerfen und Konstruierenat, or Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design) at the University of Stuttgart in Berlin has won the “Plus-Energy House with Electromobility” competition run by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development.

The design (which comes to us by way of ArchDaily) was developed under the direction of Professor Werner Sobek and demonstrates the potential for actively combining the energy needs of electric vehicles with those of our built environment. It also highlights the possibility for buildings to undergo complete recycling rather than demolition.

Plus Energy House Germany

image via ArchDaily

The core of this grid-positive home is completely encased in glass, serving as both an architectural interface and a building systems hub. From the garden side of this core is a compact two-storeys worth of private living space, while on the street side a large open frame serves as a showcase for the public, providing real-time information about the house and its electric vehicles through a dynamic interactive display system. All of the materials and systems in the house, including those on display, are designed to allow for recycling and dis-assembly.

Power here is generated through a sophisticated use of solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems that allow the house to produce a net annual surplus of energy, even after powering its electric vehicles. (The energy needs of the home itself are reduced by a combination of good design factors, including passive solar design.)  This net surplus is fed into the public electricity grid, and contributes renewable energy to the utility system.

Plus Energy House Exploded Diagram

image via ArchDaily

The project not only illustrates the feasibility of building future single-family homes that generate a significant surplus of energy, but also demonstrates how future buildings can be designed and built to allow for complete recycling at the end of their life cycle.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.