Lumenhaus is Virginia Tech's 2009 entry to the US Solar Decathlon competition, an educational project of the U.S. Department of Energy supported by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This green house was inspired by the Farnsworth House by Mies Van Der Rohe. It features glass walls facing the north and south to maximize daylight, and the fully automated Eclipsis System of independent sliding layers filters light in beautiful, flowing patterns throughout the day.
Lumenhaus is a zero-energy home completely powered by the sun. Other sustainable features include the use of passive energy systems, a rainwater and greywater recycling systems, radiant heating and building materials that are from renewable and/or recyclable sources. The modular design means multiple units can be connected to create a space tailored to the needs of the owners, and the rectangular open design has a small footprint but still creates a perception of greater space. The Lumenhaus represents almost two years of labor by the design team at Virginia Tech.
You can read more about the Lumenhaus online or even fan it on Facebook. If you want to see the Lumenhaus in person, you can check out the unique Eclipsis panels at the Taubman Museum in Roanoke Virginia through August 16, or wait until October when DOE will erect a "solar village" on the National Mall and allow the public to tour the houses- we'll definitely be there for the big unveiling!