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Canopea by Team Rhone Alpes Wins Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

Canopea, the "nanotower" concept home designed by Team Rhone Alpes has won the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe. Photo: Courtesy Solar Decathlon Europe
With a total score of 908.72 points, the Canopea house built by the Rhone Alpes team has won the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe competition. The winning project, on display at the "Villa Solar" event grounds in Madrid, Spain, is a model of one floor of the team's "nanotower" concept: narrow-footprint, midrise towers in which an individual home comprises each floor.

In this design, a top floor, with angled walls of louvered glass, contains common spaces including: a common laundry, a summer kitchen, gardens, storage boxes, and community gathering space. A rooftop photovoltaic array provides shade for the upper floor.
Rendering of possible configurations for the Canopea "nanotowers". Image: Team Rhone Alpes
The home's square floor plan is composed of two concentrically positioned walls, separated by a narrow zone that can be occupied. The outermost wall is largely permeable to light and air, and includes louvered glass panels . The inner wall is largely opaque and comprises the home's insulation. The in-between space can serve as additional enclosed living space, or as patios, porches, and other informal spaces.

Unit designs for the Canopea nanotower range from studio apartments through three-bedroom flats.

The Canopea project uses a two-layered wall approach with porch space in between. Photo: Courtesy Solar Decathlon Europe

A more detailed description of the Canopea project, including drawings, renderings, and background information, is available in this PDF.

Second place in the competition was taken by the Patio 2.12 design by the team from Andalucía, Spain, while third place was claimed by the Med in Italy project. In total, 18 projects competed in the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe, designed by teams from 11 countries. Interior and exterior photos of all 18 projects can be viewed at Flickr.

More detailed information about all of the projects and teams is available on this Solar Decathlon Europe web page.

Patio 2.12, the second-place project designed by Andalucía Team. Photo: Courtesy Solar Decathlon Europe

Project Rankings and Scores
1Canopea (France)908.72
2Patio 2.12 (Andalucía, Spain)897.39
3Med in Italy (Italy)863.49
4Ecolar Home (Germany)835.00
5Counter Entropy House (Germany)819.31
6Odoo (Hungary)766.98
7SMLsystem (Valencia, Spain)765.98
8(e)co (Cataluña, Spain)731.57
9Prispa (Romania)719.16
10Fold (Denmark)715.59
11Para Eco-House (China)686.88
12Ekihouse (Pais Vasco, Spain)684.20
13Sumbiosi (France)674.80
14Ekó House (Brazil)670.99
15Omotenashi House (Japan)641.91
16cem' casas em movimento (Portugal)538.29
17astonyshine (France-Italy)414.71
18Casa pi Unizar (Zaragoza, Spain)360.92

Med in Italy, the third-place project designed by Team Italy. Photo: Courtesy Solar Decathlon Europe

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