Team Austria: High-Tech Home At Solar Decathlon 2013 (VIDEO)

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Originally published on 1Sun4All.

The Solar Decathlon is the world’s most challenging sustainable building university-level competition and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, reports the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. Team Austria: a collection of Austrian research institutions has entered the competition with the high-tech “LISI – Living Inspired by Sustainable Innovation” energy-plus house, which generates more energy than is consumed by its occupants.

Standing under the canopy and inside the fabric facade creates a surprisingly shaded and air cooled environment. It also gives a sense of semi-privacy while establishing movable living boundaries. It is an experience that offers the feeling of expansive comfort. The following is an official St. Pölten University news release:

Into The Future with Solar Living: A Building as an Energy Source


Team Austria at the opening ceremonies in Irvine, California. They wore excellent outfits! | Photo Credit:  Michael Batori

The biennial Solar Decathlon competition seeks out energy self-sufficient buildings for the homes of the future. As in an Olympic decathlon, entries are judged in ten categories which, in addition to energy efficiency, include living quality, design and affordability.

Team Austria Solar Decathlon 2013 Audiovisual Presentation

Team Austria’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 entry is a simple, smart, and sustainable house. Powered by a rooftop solar photovoltaic system, LISI generates more power than it uses over the course of a year. The house adapts to a range of climate zones and flexes to meet a variety of lifestyles.

Fabric Facade

The “LISI – Living Inspired by Sustainable Innovation” house is Austria’s entry to this global solar competition, contributed by the Solar Decathlon Team Austria a consortium of Austrian research institutions led by the Sustainable Construction Group at the Institute of Architecture and Design at Vienna University of Technology. Wood accounts for around 96 percent of the structure. The capturing of incident sunlight and photovoltaic cells on the roof make the house a net energy supplier.


Conor Fitzpatrick, center, learns about Team Austria’s curtains from team member Dieter Fellner, which surround the house and are made to look like and represent leaves. | Photo Credit: Eric Grigorian | U.S. Department of Energy

In addition to the enclosed living area, LISI has open patios, over and around which fabric panels and awnings can be arranged as needed or desired. In summer, the fabric screening provides protection from strong sunlight, while in winter it is removed to allow the house to let in the sun’s warmth. Its flexible design means LISI can adapt to its occupants’ needs.

The starting point for the design is the rising global demand for compact, affordable and energy-efficient homes in the suburban area. The house is designed in such a way that, with slight adjustments to the thermal insulation, it can be used in any climatic zone.


LISI |Construction Day 9 at  Solar Decathlon 2013. | Photo Credit: LISI | Team Austria 

Multimedia Living

The Institute of Creative|Media|Technologies, the Media Technology Bachelors Program and the Digital Media Masters Program at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences are contributing their skills in interactive technologies and in video and audio production to the project.

LISI’s future occupants can expect smart home automation systems: for instance, an interactive user manual makes use of audiovisual scenarios to show occupants how to make best use of the house’s energy streams under changing conditions.

Exhibition in California and Austria

The LISI energy self-sufficient house was erected this summer by Lake Weissensee in Carinthia, Austria, and in recent weeks has been packed into containers and shipped to California. Starting September 22, the house is rebuilt there for the week of the competition when 300,000 visitors are expected.

Team Austria: Vienna University of Technology Computer Animated Walkthrough

LISI was also exhibited during European Researchers’ Night, an event that took place on September 27, 2013 in more than 300 European cities. The event represents an opportunity for research institutions to present their projects to the general public. Solar Decathlon Team Austrias’ contribution was a detailed 1:20 scale model of LISI. A live video stream to the building site in California gave visitors of the event in the City of St. Pölten | Lower Austria the opportunity to put questions to the team on location in the US. LISI is funded by a number of renowned institutional sponsors and companies.

The Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO are both taking place in Irvine, California through Sunday, October 13.

It’s FREE! Public hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily:

  • Thursday, October 10 – Sunday, October 13, 2013

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Amber Archangel

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website,

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