Spanish (E)co House Harvests Rain As Well As Sun

Not long back, we brought you coverage of London Metropolitan University’s entry in this year’s Solar Decathlon Europe competition, the Heliomet Sunbloc, which is made primarily of foam and designed to sit on top of another building. Prior to that, we shared the specs on the entry from the team at the University of Porto (Portugal), the Casa em Movimento, which can be scaled to the size of the family inhabiting it, and makes a little cash on the side by feeding excess solar power back to the grid. Now we bring you the (e)co house from Spain’s Higher Technical School of Architecture of Vallés (ETSAV).

The house was built using 96 percent reusable resources, including organic and biodegradable materials. In addition to providing 100 percent of its own electricity via the wonders of solar power — a mandatory condition for all entries to the Solar Decathlon competition — the home accounts for an impressive 70 percent of its drinking water via harvested rainwater and greywater treated in artificial wetlands. The solar photovoltaic panels to be used in the project, as well as its solar thermal hot water system, were donated by the high-end Spanish solar manufacturer  Siliken.

(e)co house

image via Siliken

The ETSAV’s technical team is made up of 50 professionals; their (e)co house will undergo 10 tests to demonstrate its sustainable construction in the course of the competition, which officially opened on September 14 and will run through the end of the month. During that period of time, ETSAV’s (e)co house will go head-to-head with 19 other solar homes developed by university teams from around Europe, and ones from Brazil, China, Egypt and Japan as well.

The homes are located at the “Villa Solar” in the Casa de Campo park in Madrid, can be viewed there through September 30.

Interested in more on the worldwide Solar Decathlon competitions? Check out the EarthTechling stories under the Solar Decathlon and Solar Decathlon China tags.

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.