The city of Austin, TX welcomes 100 new citizens every single day. That has caused a significant increase in the resources needed to keep the city running, so the Austin Community Desing & Development Center’s Alley Flat Initiative has been hard at work to design a carbon neutral house to alleviate some of the energy demand.
The homes will be built in secondary lots that have previously been neglected so that all the construction won’t even contribute further to sprawl. Known as the NexusHaus, these cute yet sustainable homes could revolutionize the way we live.
At 784 square feet, most of the house’s energy comes from solar. The panels are embedded into its inverter so that direct current can be converted into alternating current. That means there is no central inverter needed, which allows each individual panel to run independent of the others to save energy. The solar array used has a lighter frame, too, which reduces installation costs and waste.
Each NexusHaus is actually two separate, modular parts. Each module is 14′ x 28′, and one is for daytime while the other is for nighttime. Each section can be used separately to limit energy consumption.
The carbon neutral house also saves water by using a central covered canopy over the dog-trot porch to collect rainwater. Since the house is also fitted to have an edible garden, the water saving features are particularly crucial.
Green wood is used as construction material; it has a low carbon footprint which is one of the key ways NexusHaus received its carbon neutral rating. That, plus the 7kW of solar panels inside the walls.
NexusHaus was entered into Inhabitat’s 2015 Solar Decathlon competition by its design team hailing from both The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen from Germany.
Image (c) Mike Chino for Inhabitat