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Eco-house from Austria takes top prize at "Solar Decathlon" in California

19. November 2013

The LISI high-tech, low-energy house designed and built by Team Austria was crowned the winner at the 2013 Solar Decathlon, one of the world's most acclaimed contests for sustainable construction.

A total of 160 teams applied for the “Solar Decathlon” contest, held by the US Department of Energy once every two years. 18 teams from the USA and Canada qualified, along with two teams from Europe. A project team from Austria was also there for the first time. The team was managed by Vienna University of Technology and succeeded in making its mark on its first attempt.

The teams built houses on the competition compound in Irvine, near Los Angeles. These houses were then evaluated by a jury on the basis of ten criteria, including the energy produced and consumed, architecture, indoor environmental conditions and economic feasibility. The goal was to achieve the ideal mix of affordability, consumer appeal and excellent design with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

In the end, the LISI high-tech, low-energy house (Living Inspired by Sustainable Innovation) from Team Austria won out, taking first place for its innovative combination of outstanding architecture and sustainable technology. Furthermore, the LISI energy concept can be transferred to any climate zone with minimal modifications.

The building from Austria is built almost exclusively out of wood, even the insulation is from a material using wood fibres. The application of cutting-edge technology allows the house to produce more energy than it consumes. 100 square metres of photovoltaic modules on the roof produce all of the energy needed. Warm/cold water for heating and cooling the interior is provided by two air-water heat pumps.