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Photo of Casa Solar on display at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Enlarge image

The southern façade of Casa Solar opens directly onto a large deck, while the northern-facing side houses PV-charged batteries.
(Credit: Jim Tetro/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Who: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
What: Casa Solar
Campus de Montegancedo
28660 Boadilla del Monte
Madrid, Spain
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Public tours: Not available

Solar Decathlon 2007

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid: Going the Distance

Casa Solar, built by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007, returned to Spain after the competition on the National Mall. Since then, it has been exhibited at various events, including the first Solar Decathlon Europe, held in Madrid in June 2010.

The decathletes built two versions of the house, as they did in 2005. The second version of Casa Solar is located at a Universidad Politécnica de Madrid satellite research campus called Campus de Montegancedo. The Bioclimatic Architecture Center is using the house to study building materials. Both 2007 houses will ultimately reside on this campus, alongside Version 2 of the 2005 house.

Casa Solar was designed to be both beautiful and functional, drawing inspiration from Le Corbusier's "machine a vivre." The team would have made the early modernist proud. It received third place in the Architecture contest and a perfect score in the Energy Balance contest—resulting in a fifth-place finish overall.