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Inside the most energy efficient home design of 2013

A competition to build an ultra-efficient home produces an impressive, beautiful winner.

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Topic: Innovation
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1 of 7 Tyler Falk/ZDNet

For the sixth time, the United States Department of Energy has brought together some of the brightest collegians from around the world to build energy-efficient homes that people would actually want to live in.

The Solar Decathlon is a sight to behold: more than a dozen homes are built on-site with inspiring energy-saving technologies.

It was a scene I was able witness first hand when the competition was held in Washington, D.C. This year the competition moved to Irvine, California where, from what I can tell by the photos, the results were just as impressive.

The winner for 2013: Vienna University of Technology in Austria. The team's LISI (Living Inspired by Sustainable Innovation) home is powered by rooftop solar panels and generates more energy than it consumes in a year. But the competition isn't just about generating energy, the top team also has to build a house with consumer appeal that is affordable and has a good design. Among the other features include:

  • A modular wooden frame that makes construction quick and efficient,
  • An automated screen and awning system that cools living spaces,
  • A rainwater reservoir that waters the outdoor herb garden,
  • Two air-water heat pumps for space heating and cooling,
  • An energy-recovery ventilation unit that keeps indoor air fresh,
  • And a heat-recovering shower tray that reduces hot-water demand by one-third.

Take a look inside this beautiful home that also happens to be ultra-efficient.

More photos from the rest of the competition, here.

Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
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2 of 7 Tyler Falk/ZDNet

Photo: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
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3 of 7 Tyler Falk/ZDNet

Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
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4 of 7 Tyler Falk/ZDNet

Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
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5 of 7 Tyler Falk/ZDNet

Photo: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
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6 of 7 Tyler Falk/ZDNet

Photo: LISI

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
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7 of 7 Tyler Falk/ZDNet

Photo: LISI

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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