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Solar Powered Halo Home Built by Students

The Halo Home located in Göteborg, Sweden was built by a team of students for entry in the Solar Decathlon China. Halo is named after the shining circle around the sun. This little home is completely sustainable and powered by the sun. Pretty cool, right?

The core is the heart of the home and contains the kitchen, bathroom and technical room, which features a compact air handling unit with up to 95% heat recovery. The small home also comes equipped with four sleeping platforms and a semi-enclosed deck, that includes thermally treated wood. There’s also a dining room that was designed to combine both natural daylight and energy efficient LED lighting.

Students rotate in and out of the Halo Home four at a time and share the small space so that they can learn sustainable habits from one another, which will be brought to their next home, making it even better than before. Please enjoy and re-share below. Thanks.

Solar Powered Halo Home Built by Students


Images © Halo Team Sweden

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Images © Halo Team Sweden

3D Video Walkthrough Tour of the Halo Home

Learn more: http://www.halosweden.com/


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Sabrena is a writer and blogger from Los Angeles, California and Tiny House Talk is excited to have her as part of the team to help us share more inspiring tiny homes and simple living stories with you.
{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Sharon wade
    February 25, 2015, 2:49 pm

    It’s amazing how these homes are built

    • Alex
      February 28, 2015, 10:05 am

      I agree! Thanks Sharon!

  • Cahow
    February 25, 2015, 5:20 pm

    I am proudly waving my Blue & Yellow Swedish flag and yelling: “Sverige, jag älskar dig!” 😀

    I highly recommend clicking on the link for halosweden and watching the videos from there; they are much more extensive and by my eye, give a better prospective of the size of this house.

    Thoughts: The concept is brilliant; too many incredible ideas to comment upon…they are all covered in the video. The concept of the “inefficiency” of individual units is a tough one, though. I get the loneliness factor but that’s what the student lounge is for. Actually, stacked units that are stories tall with combined electric and water IS efficient! Think about it: this unit houses FOUR people who must really REALLY like each other to sleep that closely to one another. And it can’t be stacked and takes up a lot of space on the ground. Now, take that exact same square footage and go vertical 10 stories and you’ve housed FORTY people instead of FOUR. So, unless your country or county has more land than people, building separate buildings that ALL require plumbing and electric is NOT efficient. This design, however, would be splendid for a family of four’s vacation home.

    Now, to the sleeping conditions. Wow. NO screening, NO walls, NO ability to shut out the noise from the TV/Lounge or the smells/noise from the kitchen on the other side….I couldn’t handle it.

    BUT…that is me! I may be wrong but the young 18-25 year old’s that I know from my grown children have NO PRIVACY ISSUES or…expectation of privacy. Boy, that sure differs from my generation! One of my son’s 18 year old female friend’s lives in a 3 bedroom apartment where the kid’s on the lease have rented out mattresses…yes, you read that correctly…mattresses to people who want to live “cheap.” The principle renters all have their own private bedrooms that they keep locked and use for both sleeping and entertaining but they’ve turned their massive dining room/lounge into FIFTEEN mattresses lined up like Saltine crackers in both rooms. A bookcase at the back wall of each bed is for each person’s belongings. I’ve seen photos on his Facebook page of the set up; 15 bodies lounging around the beds; some actually on the mattresses, some sitting on them, and some laying akimbo on several mattresses. ALL people involved have the hugest smiles on their faces and ALL appear to be happy. It certainly is not the way that I could ever have lived my life (I require an intense amount of privacy) but for these chipper souls, they are as happy as peas & carrots.

    Beautiful design; LOVED all the videos I saw; and was left thinking, “I wonder how many U.S. students can speak Swedish as fluently as these Swedish students speak American English?”

    Bravo, Team Sweden, Bravo!!!!

    • Donna
      February 25, 2015, 7:53 pm

      In my mid 20’s I shared a 3 bedroom apt with multiple people. A friend, his pregnant girlfriend, and her toddler daughter shared the master bedroom. My best friend and I shared one of the other bedrooms. My cousin and 2 friends shared the the third bedroom. We had a huge living room and at one point had 5 friends crashing there. All of us were either active duty or civilian employees at Carswell AFB. It helped that we were all good friends, close in age, and looking for any way to pinch a few pennies. And the fact that due to different shifts we were rarely all home at the same time, lol.

      • Cahow
        February 26, 2015, 9:39 am

        Nice story, Donna and I bet it helped that you all had DOORS to escape behind! 😀

        Thank you for your service at Carswell AFB.

      • grete sandberg
        February 28, 2015, 7:42 pm

        to D; For heaven sake, stop being nationalistic. Nok er nok. And, by the way, the US of A is not the best country in the world.
        It is a good design, no doubt. However; have questions and suggestions.
        Grete Sandberg, Kearney, NE.

        • Duke Steele
          August 1, 2015, 6:03 pm

          Actually, Grete the US of A IS the best country in the world. And if living in NEBRASKA is a problem for you, why don’t you leave MY country?

    • grete sandberg
      February 28, 2015, 8:00 pm

      Again: don’t be so nationalistic!.. Yes, Ikea is good. And I make a point out of not speaking Swedish. After all, Swedes and Norwegians are not on speaking terms?
      The concept of the house i attractive. Wonder if the bookshelves “goes both ways”. Other storage on the other side of the wall?
      May have missed something, I often do.
      Love the concept of down sizing, every which way – says someone who currently have thee homes in the US, and one in OSL, NO. (beste vest-kant.

  • gale
    February 25, 2015, 6:21 pm

    Great idea. Cool house. Hope no one snores;)

    • Cahow
      February 25, 2015, 7:03 pm

      Or farts!

      I can wear ear plugs for Da Snores, but NOSE Plugs for Le Farts??? Not going to happen. LOL

      • Trish
        May 2, 2015, 2:14 am

        Cahow — another funny post. I bet if we ever met, we’d laugh ourselves silly. I have a sartistic humor. Thanks for the laugh.

      • Cahow
        May 2, 2015, 7:02 am

        Dear Trish, You could be assured of MUCH laughter when we hung out! Live is too short to brood, unless you’re a hen. 😀

  • Deanna Rinker
    February 25, 2015, 6:40 pm

    In basic training at Ft Sam
    Houston TX
    Our barics were quonset huts, same as these.
    They are very sturdy structures!

  • Stephanie knepper
    February 25, 2015, 6:42 pm

    creative and practical…the best of both worlds!

  • February 25, 2015, 6:58 pm

    Great home concept! Those students can be proud!!!

  • Karen R
    February 25, 2015, 7:13 pm

    I love this design!

    You have a great idea for maximum efficiency, but I see this as a single family home, because I have to have my privacy. Our younger daughter went to the excellent Christopher Newport University here in Virginia where each student had their own bedroom and bath while sharing the kitchen and living areas – best student housing in the commonwealth, perhaps USA. So lots of young people do want their own space.

    As to language capabilities . . .anyone who has ever visited Europe knows how advanced they are when compared to Americans. I admit it takes days for my French to kick in, and I lose it as soon as I get home! Sad!

    • Cahow
      February 26, 2015, 9:55 am

      Karen R: where your daughter stayed sounds FANTASTIC and a grand experience. I googled it and this was the first sentence in the article: ” Christopher Newport is the only public university in the nation to be awarded a perfect “A” by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.” Impressive to the max, so much so, that I’m forwarding a link to that university to my best friend. He has a college bound daughter who wants to attend Uni on the East Coast and this looks perfect!

      Regarding having private bath/bedrooms and communal everything else, that’s how we run our 3 bedroom condo in the city. Both my husband and I need to stay in Chicago during the week for Construction season but we didn’t want to have the financial burden of maintaining a place in our unemployed Winter season. So, when we sold our large home once the kids moved out, we bought this condo, took the larger bedroom for ourselves (has it’s own bathroom), and then advertized to rent out the other two bedrooms to Students Only! That was 12 years ago and it’s worked out flawlessly. Each girl has her very own room and the entire rest of the condo is shared space. The age range has been from 16 years old to 50 years old and we’ve had girls from 14 of the 50 United States. It is so much fun to walk in the back door, see one of them cooking away in the kitchen, and then join them to make our own meal, laughter and a bit of wine.

      Most of the girls are working on their Master’s and want NOTHING to do with dorm life or traditional student housing because getting your Master’s is INTENSE and they want to concentrate on their studies. Our current girl’s studies are Photography at Columbia and Product Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. The girls can safely have $1,000’s of dollars of camera/design equipment in their rooms without fear of theft or “borrowing”.

      So, you can see I’m a massive fan of communal space BUT, a private bedroom to retreat to is still of primary importance to many a student. BTW, the apt. I referenced with the 15 mattresses: ALL the people sharing that apt. are Dance/Theatre majors at Columbia; I don’t know if that makes a difference or not. Certainly NO science/math majors are living there. LOL

    • Cahow
      February 26, 2015, 11:51 am

      Dear Karen R,
      I hope you see this post to you. I can’t thank you ENOUGH for mentioning Christopher Newport University!!!! I spent over an hour at their website, going over everything posted and then wiki’ed them and read about the massive amount of awards they have collected.

      I then called and subsequently emailed ALL of that information to my best friend, Ed, who has a brilliant daughter and is at the age of “checking out university”. Neither Ed nor I had ever heard of this university before so we are BOTH so grateful to you for posting the name and endorsement of the campus/institution.

      I’ll let you know what Ed and his daughter think about it!!! <3

      • Karen R
        February 26, 2015, 2:06 pm

        Students are held accountable for their behavior OFF campus, so it is unusual that way, and it is President and Mrs. Trible’s stated life’s work. She hugs EVERY graduate as they leave the stage after receiving their diploma. They don’t ever plan to enlarge the class sizes.

        CNU doesn’t have the endowments of older universities and colleges, a major consideration in national rankings, but the fact that the monies are spent to improve the campus seems more important to me. And it is a GORGEOUS campus. UVA is supposed to be the most beautiful in the country, but I don’t think it can compare. And the FERGUSON CENTER is fantastic. Plus D.C., Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, the Outer Banks, Eastern Shore all are close.

      • dea
        May 20, 2015, 3:01 pm

        It’s way better than a tent city! (I mean bodacious Baghdad retreat)…lol, not… anyway I did like several aspects of the design but I’m sure there’s a privacy- fix in there somewhere too!

  • AJ
    February 25, 2015, 7:30 pm

    How much does the tiny solar Halo home cost?

  • Graham
    February 25, 2015, 10:44 pm

    I have to admit the Lack of privacy in the Bedroom area would be an Issue especially if a Couple were making love as young people probably would in a Uni flatting situation. Ground floor outer area could be used as separate Bed rooms and the deck could be out from kitchen lounge areas …

  • Rebecca
    February 25, 2015, 10:58 pm

    A nice design for its intended purpose. I love the solar roof and arc over the round house. I like the communal living style… reminds me of the Israeli kibbutzim, which fascinated me once upon a time ago. I cannot imagine a bunch of 60 somethings doing this.

  • J Bailey
    February 26, 2015, 9:45 am

    Thanks for posting this. It’s really making my wheels turn. I was looking into the possibility of a quonset style house because they are not labor intensive and are quiet affordable, but I wasn’t wanting so much space. This is a great option for allowing covered outdoor space, but a smaller interior area.

  • alice h
    February 26, 2015, 10:17 am

    I like the design, always good to have covered outdoor space. You could probably screen in one of those for a bug proof outdoor sleeping area too.

    I had my communal days way back when, much happier with my own private space now but I still have a taste of it because our house has 4 generations of family living in 3 separate apartments carved out of a former single family home that was ridiculously large. I have a fairly reasonable expectation of privacy but my 10 year old granddaughter pops in and out at will and you never know when somebody will come looking for a cup of sugar or whatever. We do communal meals 2 or 3 nights a week. It’s kind of nice but I do have my own private hideout elsewhere and need to retreat there regularly. Don’t know if it’s a generational or temperament thing but most people I know my age also like their alone time.

    • Cahow
      February 26, 2015, 11:06 am

      alice h wrote: “Don’t know if it’s a generational or temperament thing but most people I know my age also like their alone time.”

      I’d love to hypothesize and claim that it’s a “generational thing” but only time will tell with the Millennials. From casual observation, however, I’ve noticed that Millennials (from what I’ve experienced) have a Hive Mentality, meaning that they LOVE to do things in large groups. Between all the over-sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Reddit, they need/desire/want The World At Large to know EVERYTHING they are doing-feeling-experiencing-and eating. The friends I have in this generation don’t go out in one’s and two’s, they go out in hoards of their friends to concerts and bars…parties at home aren’t “another couple” but a public invite on Twitter to “Come on over and hang,” guaranteeing that at least 12 of your best friends will be over to keep you company while you binge watch “Orange is the New Black.” LOL

      As a Baby Boomer, however, we are the Age of Aquarius Generation which was all about ‘Doin’ your own thang’, being independent in thought and action. One of my best friends who is a Boomer states, “I’ve never met a door I didn’t like!” LOL

      There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with either philosophy, as long as you don’t take it to extremes and become either a Social Gadabout or a Hermit. 😉

    • Gabrielle Charest
      February 17, 2016, 3:53 am

      Alice H: I am intrigued with your living arrangements and am happy to learn that it is working out for you. This summer I will be moving into a relative’s home which currently has two generations in it. I will have my own bedroom and bathroom and will share the remaining spaces. Because Grammy really needs a chill-out space of her own, I am having a tiny studio built on the grounds. It will have a daybed, a tv, shelves, a folding table for my crafts or computer work, and small loft for storage. I’m hoping for good things with this new arrangement.

  • Wolf
    February 26, 2015, 10:35 am

    I don’t get the “wasted space” comments. Round is the most efficient design possible. Not too popular because people try to put rectangular furniture against curved walls. That’s why I designed the Double Hogan. 8 sides and open feeling. Now I just need some young, smart engineer types to help me downsize it and inter-fold the diag walls, to make it trailer-able.

    • Tina
      February 26, 2015, 2:09 pm

      I’d really like to see that when finished!! pls forward

    • Chel
      February 27, 2015, 6:00 am

      Wolf you could always try contacting one of the architecture student groups to see if one of them wants to take on the project. Or as you stated, an engineering student. There are a number of posts on Alex’ site about student designed houses, these give you an idea on who is most likely to get you concept. 😉

    • Gabrielle Charest
      February 17, 2016, 3:55 am

      Wolf, that sounds fascinating. Hope you can make it happen.

  • Sandi B
    February 27, 2015, 2:48 pm

    This was nicely designed and the space used well. While the sleeping areas have no privacy to speak off — they don’t in most THOW’s either.
    This design appears to be taken from that of Yurts Except for the roof structure/patio cover part. I think there were some interesting ideas.

  • Steve in Palm Bay
    March 7, 2015, 3:52 am

    While this may work for many, leave me out of this. I value my privacy too much. I would not feel like my things are safe when I am not there and untold numbers of people may have open access. As my favorite entertainment is a great book, my tolerance level for the probable noise factor of living in such close quarters is pushed to the limit. Perhaps Swedes are more socialized than myself. I am too much of an individualist….for which I do not apologize.

    As to 15 people living on mattresses, sounds like Animal House to me. All the extra wear and tear on just door hinges and plumbing would be a homeowners nightmare.

    I forwarded this to a lady friend I know from China. She thought the arrangement was awesome. Oh course she often chides me that too much privacy can be contrary to the workings of the government. Then again, she thinks Mao wasn’t really such a bad guy.

    Sorry, I prefer an empty house to a bad tenant (s).

  • Merryl
    May 1, 2015, 10:54 am

    Having my personal space a part of a “ward” makes my hair stand on end. I would never feel safe. But I bet some would say knowing there are 3 others just a snore away would create safety for them. I think being a hermit or a ‘Social Gadabout” are both ok options.

  • Bruce CG Gallagher
    May 1, 2015, 1:14 pm

    A very interesting project. I went to the Halo sight to see the complete
    video. I lived in a similar fashion in my youth, without the great technology of course (it was the 60’s/70’s). As a Canadian, I am curious as to the issue of snow load on that portion of the roof structure, which to my eye. appears flat/horizontal; and how that load affects the performance of the solar array. I know in central and eastern Canada and the north/eastern US, the cold and snow was particularly excessive this winter past.

  • Jane
    May 1, 2015, 10:08 pm

    Excellent idea although I personally could not sleep there. But I think the shelving could be expanded by making the layers thinner. Too much space cannot be used. Less wood between shelves would still support books, clothing, etc.

  • dj
    May 6, 2015, 5:44 pm

    How does a solar house work in the winter there?

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