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Photo of surPLUShome at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009 with Silo House and the Washington Monument in the background. Enlarge image

Team Germany's surPLUShome took first place in Solar Decathlon 2009. It is now permanently placed on the Technische Universität Darmstadt campus.
(Credit: Jim Tetro/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Who: Team Germany
What: surPLUShome
Technische Universität Darmstadt
El-Lissitzky-Str. 3
64287 Darmstadt, Deutschland
Map This House

Public tours: Not available

Solar Decathlon 2009

Team Germany: Starting a Solar Revolution

In June 2010, Team Germany's surPLUShome returned to the Technische Universität Darmstadt campus for permanent placement next to Solarhouse, from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007. As part of the university's Solar Campus ("Solare Lichtwiese") project, these world-champion houses will use building-integrated photovoltaics to feed electricity into the German power grid.

The decathletes from Technische Universität Darmstadt followed their victory in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2007 with another win in 2009. Their surPLUShome incorporated an extensive array of PV panels along with cutting-edge technology such as vacuum-insulated structural panels, phase-change materials, and automated louver-covered windows.

After Solar Decathlon 2009, Team Germany remained in the spotlight for several months. The students were honored by Rainer Bomba, Germany's state secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development, at the ZukunftBau Kongress on Feb. 16, 2010. The team's reception at this annual building convention in Berlin was headlined as "An Idea Conquers the World."

The reconstruction of surPLUShome in Essen, Germany, for the Cultural Capital of Europe Ruhr 2010 event began the following April. This year-long celebration of the arts drew German Federal Minister of Transport, Building, and Urban Development Dr. Peter Ramsauer. After touring the house, he said, "It's revolutionary."