Solar Decathlon Europe Has Arrived!Canopea Leading The Way In Architecture Contest.


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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A quick reminder that Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) of 2012 has begun, taking place in Madrid, Spain, between September 14-30, 2012. SDE resulted from the Spanish and U.S. governments having signed a memorandum of understanding in which the Spanish Ministry of Housing committed to organize and host Solar Decathlon Europe, a complementary competition to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.  This month, I will be bringing you quite a few clips and posts on visits to various solar designs. For today, it is the design of Canopea by the Rhone-Alps Project of France that had taken the lead for Prize of the Architecture Contest.

Canopea answers the problems of densification of the cities, the Team Rhone-Alps came up with the innovative solar project of habitat integrating qualities of the individual habitat within a urban context.  Canopea is a collective of “nanotowers” (small buildings), inscribed within a neighborhood.  Nanotowers are a series of individual homes, stacked together in  a small tower, with a common floor/space shared by  inhabitants on the top of each tower. Nanotowers are all connected to the city, transit network, services and shops. Concept of an urban ecosystem is based on connections between buildings on the scale of a neighborhood, district, and the city, pulling together every energy systems available (thermo, electric smart grid and home automation systems). The design itself is inspired by the canopy, the upper portion of branches and foliage of a tree. It works as a real ecosystem to catch 95% of the solar energy and 30% of the precipitation. The canopea project also includes the agricultural possibility and reduces the environmental footprint of the project by making it partially  self sufficient  for food by having a portion of the project surface area devoted to growing herbs and vegetables that may be used directly for cooking.  A vertical farm located at the central space of the block provides large space for agrarian productions. The skin is the thermal envelope of the nanotower homes while the shell supports the photovoltaic system and lateral blind to filter sunlight.  On each floor, canopea is organized around three boxes. A prefabricated core containing all fluids and  technical system.  Common space allows residents to socialize, children to play, place to BBQ, and laundry area. Two top floors of the nanotower have been built for the Solar Decathlon 2012.  For passive system: In summer the skin is protected from the sun by louvre, venetian shutters,  and micro-perforated sunscreen. This cooling will not consume any energy.  The active system cools the house via air supply and radiant panels which also allows heating in winter.  Without further ado, let’s have a look at the Canopea design, below:

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture

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