Earth Techling reports that one of the entries in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011 is an E-Cube from Ghent University in Belgium. It is designed for people with limited construction experience who want highly efficient, modular homes that they can assemble themselves. Low on gadgetry, and made to be assembled in stages over a period of several days, the walls are fiber cement boards around triple-glazed windows. The wiring is easily installed, there are no bolts to install, and the interior is spartan. The E-Cube can be easily expanded by adding walls to the exiting beams. The students plan to complete this modular housing prototype when they return the unit to campus where it will be used to house visiting professors. A total of 30 teams from universities around the globe will be displaying their models on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23-Oct. 2.
(The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.)
(photo credit: Ghent University)