With a voluptuous skin of high-performance fabric, Techstyle Haus is one of 25 projects on display through July 14 at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in Versailles, France. The 800-square-foot amoeba-shaped house was created by students from the Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University and the University of Applied Sciences in Germany to combine passive-house elements with a flexible system of solar panels.
The prototype net-zero house required about $500,000 in materials and was engineered to run on 65 percent less heating and cooling energy than traditional homes of equivalent size. The walls are made of weatherproof fiberglass and Teflon Sheerfill fabric that has been stretched over steel ribbing and can withstand winds up to 130 miles per hour.
A sustainable prefab rowhouse — a collaboration between Appalachian State and the Université d’Angers in France — is the only other entry designed by students from the United States. The competition’s winners will be announced July 3 through July 12. Information:solardecathlon2014.fr.