written by:
August 20, 2015
As tech breakthroughs make solar a more efficient and economic energy solution, take a look at this array of houses using cutting-edge solar collection methods.
Living roof and solar panels at Jackson Hole vacation home

When building their dream retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Steve and Alexi Conine worked with architect Brad Hoyt to create a smart house that fused technology and design. Rooftop Sunpower X-Series solar panels generate about a third of the energy for the house over the course of the year. On clear, sunny summer days, they can provide energy for the entire house. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Custom, LED-Lit Slide Twists Through This Family-Friendly Vacation Home
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While the slate-clad northern facade has few windows and a steeply pitched roof, the southern facade is dominated by glass with the solar-panel-clad roof strategically angled to catch the sun.

In Denmark a prototype home is so energy efficient that within 40 years it will have created enough energy not only to support the family inside along the way but also to pay back the energy used for its materials and construction: a house, in short, with no carbon debt. While the slate-clad northern facade has few windows and a steeply pitched roof, the southern facade is dominated by glass with the solar-panel-clad roof strategically angled to catch the sun.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Test-Case Scenario
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Spanish prefab with pool.

Solar cells atop this high-tech prefab in Spain collect energy that’s used for both water systems and electricity. 

Originally appeared in Plugged-In Prefab Collects Weather Data to Conserve Energy
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Exterior of a San Francisco net-zero cottage above a workshop

In San Francisco, architect David Baker bulit what might be the city's greenest home. He developed a cantilevered frame for double-sided solar collectors that is elevated a few feet above the rooftop, with sixteen photovoltaic collectors and a 3KV system—large enough to generate more energy than the house requires in a single year. The frame’s tilted configuration actually allows the panels to collect more energy than traditional flat designs.  

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Originally appeared in This Net-Zero Residence Might Be the Greenest Home in San Francisco
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rammed-earth home in Utah

In Colorado, this rammed-earth home is entirely off the grid, powered by four photovoltaic panels that supply electricity to lights, small appliances, and water pumps.

 

 

Originally appeared in 6 Rammed-Earth Houses
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Netherlands dune house and its landscape

The exterior of this geometric beach house in Holland cleverly mirrors its surroundings in tone and texture. Solar panels are discretely tucked into the dunes next to the house, and passive building techniques maximize energy efficiency and improve insulation. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in An Angular Beach Home Blends in With the Dunes Surprisingly Well
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Living roof and solar panels at Jackson Hole vacation home

When building their dream retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Steve and Alexi Conine worked with architect Brad Hoyt to create a smart house that fused technology and design. Rooftop Sunpower X-Series solar panels generate about a third of the energy for the house over the course of the year. On clear, sunny summer days, they can provide energy for the entire house. 

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