This Minimalist Eco-House Collects More Energy than It Uses

This Minimalist Eco-House Collects More Energy than It Uses

The Techstyle Haus is like no other tiny house you have ever seen. This Techstyle Haus was one of the innovative entries in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014. The tiny house was designed by a team of students from the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt and Brown University. They designed a passive solar house and incorporated a textile roof giving the home a tent look. The roof may even appear to be quite flimsy, but it's far from it. The roof includes many different layers with 12 inches of mineral wool insulation to efficiently and naturally keep the home warm. The outer covering is a Teflon coated fibreglass membrane that's usually used when building sports stadiums. This covering will help protect the home from high winds.



The home was built to be air-tight, it also includes thick insulation in the walls and the windows are triple paned which contributes to the passive heating and cooling. They placed an overhang above the south windows to shade the home from the hot summer sun since the sun is hottest in the south facing side of a home. All of these measures helped the team reach Passivhaus Standard and they were able to reduce the home’s heating and cooling requirements by over 90 percent in comparison to the traditional building methods. They also installed a high-efficiency photovoltaic system and a solar water heater which actually help to collect more energy than the house will ever use.


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Inside, the eco-home consists of one large room where everything exists including a luxurious king-sized bed for sleeping with plenty of built-in storage off to either side. There is a privacy screen that separates the bed from the living area but having the entire space open helps to reduce heating and cooling costs and even lighting needs. With the incredibly high arched ceilings, you'd hardly even know you were in a studio space as it feels so expansive. The kitchen is all along one wall with an island separating the dining area from the kitchen. This kitchen is a dream kitchen with plenty of cabinets and counter space.



The fridge is even hidden behind a wood panel to create a seamless look with all of the other cabinets. The bathroom is behind the kitchen in the only closed off space in the home with an exposed shower and a toilet behind closed doors. On top of the bathroom area is a little loft space with a bed that has barriers built around it to avoid rolling off of the platform. This would be a good spot for guests to sleep or for some extra storage, although there is plenty of that built into the home. There are built-in bookshelves and little nooks with storage all over the home which is essential in a smaller space. This eco-home shows just how luxurious and simple housing can be and how passive housing techniques can actually help us create even more energy than we actually need.