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825 Sq. Ft. Solar Powered TechStyle Haus

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This is a 825 sq. ft. modern small home that’s solar powered. It’s called the Techstyle Haus and it’s one of the most efficient homes we’ve ever featured because it creates 50% more energy power than it uses thanks to innovative design, the textile-mounted photovoltaic system, and its solar thermal units.

A dedicated and diverse team from Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Applied Sciences of Erfurt competed it in the 2014 European Solar Decathlon which is an international competition that challenges 20 university teams to compete in ten contests to build a completely solar-powered house.

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825 Sq. Ft. Solar Powered TechStyle Haus


Images © Techstyle Haus

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Related: G-Pod Modern Transforming Shipping Container Tiny House

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Images © Techstyle Haus

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Related: Simple Living as a Family in a Small Modern Dome Home?

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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Deadrock
    September 12, 2015, 1:51 pm

    OK, this makes 2 postings in a row of homes I’d sell a kidney to own. Love this site.

    • Candide33
      September 12, 2015, 11:27 pm

      I know right??? I look forward to getting the newsletter every day. I get some other site’s newsletters but this one is the best! Alex does a great job of hunting down new articles and showcasing Tiny Houses from around the world. He is keeping the momentum of the movement going.

  • Kim W
    September 12, 2015, 3:21 pm

    It’s great that it is energy efficient, but the downstairs space seems very spread out and empty, whereas the up steps bedroom has quite restricted headroom. For anyone not needing all that open space for ballroom dancing or whatever, you could fit one or 2 bedrooms at least downstairs and avoid breaking a leg/neck going up and down that ladder to go to the toilet during the night or carrying things up and down.

    • Patricia Schneider
      September 13, 2015, 12:15 am

      Kim, there is a bedroom downstairs by the living room. However, I would certainly close it in more so that it is not actually feeling and looking like its part of the living room.

      Sorry, when I wanted to make this comment I accidently hit the report button so please disregard that action.

      • Kim W
        September 13, 2015, 3:04 am

        Oops, don’t know how I missed the downstairs bedroom! It is very open and with the huge windows,mI hope there are no close neighbours!

    • eydie
      October 21, 2015, 1:09 am

      I absolutely agree!! it’s a waste of space.

  • Karen
    September 12, 2015, 4:55 pm

    Why are the most energy efficient homes always “space age” looking. Why can’ t a traditional home be just as energy efficient ?

  • Jonnie
    September 12, 2015, 5:22 pm

    O.K., You win on the energy efficiency, but you lose, and have room for improvement, lots of improvement, on the modern design. Like modern style from a safe distance of millennia ago. Yes it is sleek, it is also cold, austerity rigid, with none of the charm, that is obvious in architecture from our past. I would choose cob, wattle and daub , stone, or logs, because of the warmth and personality they exude. Craftsman is the newest and most modern style to exude this. I only like ranch on my salad, or as a dip. One last question, why must the good features be put into modern design? Why not just improve what is already here, instead of adding to the mishmash of designs we are already being bombarded with?

    • M
      September 12, 2015, 7:50 pm

      Because when the aliens land they won’t think we’re all backwards lol.

    • Candide33
      September 13, 2015, 12:07 am

      Some people like modern, I am not one of them but there has to be something for everyone.

      I do agree about the energy efficiency elements though. I am sure that most of them could be put in a normal looking house. I am pretty sure most people don’t want to live in something that looks like a spaceship, if they did then it would have caught on back in the 60s.

      Most people do not want to live in round houses, dome houses, houses with weird geometry etc. All that was tried back in the ‘Houses of the future’ that were showcased at World Fairs, magazines and TV specials back in the 50s and 60s.

      I remember when people would try to sell geodesic dome homes in kits bought out of newspapers and magazines. There was a lot of hype but you never really saw that many of them. When you do see one now it is usually in very bad shape or deserted because they leaked like crazy and had no resale value.

      The Xanadu Houses that were tourist attractions all over the country didn’t last long either mostly because they required so much maintenance to keep them from getting moldy.

      So every time I see one of these I think back to my childhood and all the times this has been tried in the last 60+ years. It has never ended well so far so I have my doubts about it ever really taking off.

  • Beth
    September 12, 2015, 6:12 pm

    I love this place but it is waaaayyy too big for just me.

  • Jonnie
    September 12, 2015, 11:46 pm

    Thank you. That is a good answer. The best I’ve ever heard. That ask the question, why would anyone care what they think ? I certainly don’t. They aren’t too bright themselves coming to a planet set on self destructing itself, are they.

  • Patricia Schneider
    September 13, 2015, 8:41 am

    At first I liked the house and thought it was fairly cool. However, the more I looked at it the more I decided I didn’t like it. I went to the site and read more about it and discovered that the walls are fabric—fabric! I hope they can be cleaned because can you imagine what a child or grandchild could do to those white, fabric walls? aside from that, my parents were wonderful artists and I have a lot of artwork, but where would I hang it in this house?

    Another factor I do not like is that there is no privacy. The main bedroom seems to almost be part of the living room, the bathroom has doors in front of the toilet/sink area, but the shower is open to the room. It is certainly not a home that is conducive to overnight guests (maybe that’s a good thing, though).

    No, give me a little cabin or shipping container home any day.

  • Carol
    September 14, 2015, 4:59 pm

    I would love to have seen detailed pictures & descriptions describing how, “it creates 50% more energy power than it uses thanks to 1) innovative design, 2) the textile-mounted photo Voltaic system, & 3) its solar thermal units.”

  • Chel
    September 24, 2015, 9:12 am

    There are some interesting applications for the solar textiles.
    Imagine a porch shaded by this in the manner of the old wild west wagons where the sides could be rolled up to catch a breeze, or kept down to keep out the wind and rain. Works for garden sheds and parasols too.
    Take it further and apply it to tents. On the site link it shows them using tubular supports in a similar manner to modern tunnel tents. Having the flysheet as solar panel seems sensible to me, especially for larger groups and families staying in one place as a base.
    Or just as temporary shelter with additional energy for visitors to a small house.

  • Jeremy
    October 7, 2015, 3:01 pm

    This place is pretty awesome. Why are so many people on the whole “I don’t like it because it’s modern and I only like old things” bit? Guess what? This place wasn’t designed with you or your family in mind. You want something that’s more up your alley? Go pay an achitect to design something and then have it built for you. Sheesh.

  • Jeannie
    December 1, 2015, 10:27 pm

    I wonder how stable this house is in terms of holding up under snow accumulation, wind, rain, etc. But brilliant to make most of the energy passive, and the use of natural materials such as wool. Love the wide open feel, too.

  • Donna Rae
    January 6, 2018, 11:14 am

    I absolutely love the space itself but I think the interior wasn’t planned very well…so much wasted space. That kitchen could be a bit bigger and the bedroom area could be smaller. The upstairs could be better, too. LOVE the idea but the execution is lacking. Still inspirational, though.

  • Donna Rae
    January 6, 2018, 11:25 am

    Oddly shaped or unconventional homes don’t seem to be very popular but it is partially because people are ill informed. Some think they are less efficient and poorly constructed but that is so far from the truth. Efficiency is extremely high and if a dome has been poorly constructed, it is because of the contractor, not the idea or potential of the design. People in hurricane or even earthquake prone areas would be more open minded, they would find that geodesic homes as well as other rounded construction are safer and able to withstand extreme conditions. The domes and rounded homes are not to blame for their lack of acceptance but people unwilling to be open minded. Take a look online…Pinterest is a good place…and see some of the stunning domes and rounded homes. I appreciate when unusual homes are shown on this site.

  • Tom
    January 8, 2018, 9:27 am

    I’d like to see someone incorporate a lot of modern solar design and efficiency into a conventional looking house.

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