Page Tools

LumenHAUS | Notes of Interest

The house is both a dwelling and an exhibition informing the public about issues of alternative energy and sustainability. It has been exhibited in Washington D.C., Times Square, Madrid, Spain, Millennium Park, and at the Farnsworth House in Plano Ill.

This is a grid-tied solar powered house based on the concept of ‘Responsive Architecture’. It adjusts to climactic changes and user requirements through automated systems that optimize energy consumption while offering an architecture of delight.

As a net-zero energy house employing active and passive systems, it generates more power than it uses over the course of a year. It achieves its positive energy balance by incorporating a contemporary reinterpretation of the architectural shutter and screen with innovative technology.

Built and operated using industrialized processes, the Eclipsis System optimizes energy use, makes building more efficient, and improves the quality of architectural space. The Eclipsis System is made of two exterior layers - laser cut stainless steel shutter screens and aerogel filled polycarbonate insulation panels – both of which integrate the house’s technical and architectural identities. Rich and divergent qualities of light fill the house from sunrise to sunset, and sliding panel systems automatically respond to climactic conditions, providing a full range of protection from the elements and a rich architectural experience.

Additional Credit

Structural Engineer: ARUP
Cladding/Material Fabrication: Zahner and Associates, Inc.
Control Systems: Siemens
Geothermal Materials: Mechanical Equipment Sales
Hardware: Hafele America Co.
Photovoltaics: Solar Connexions; Baseline Solar; AltEnergy; SMB Solar; RTKL

Photo Credit:

© Virginia Tech Solar Team


Jury Comments

The creative use of materials and the flexibility of its components quickly respond to changes in the environment through automated systems that optimize energy consumption.

The plan and section are orchestrated by light and materials to enhance the perception of a small footprint.

The interior is cleverly designed with comfortable if compact spaces, compatible materials, and a rationale and clear layout.

2012 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture Jury

  • Rod Kruse, FAIA, Chair
  • BNIM Architects
  • Des Moines
  • Barbara White Bryson, FAIA
  • Rice University
  • Houston
  • Annie Chu, AIA
  • Chu & Gooding Architects
  • Los Angeles
  • Dima Daimi, Assoc. AIA
  • Rossetti
  • Farmington Hills, Michigan
  • Harry J. Hunderman, FAIA
  • Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
  • Northbrook, Illinois
  • Scott Lindenau, FAIA
  • Studio B Architects
  • Aspen, Colorado
  • Kirsten R. Murray, AIA
  • Olson Kundig Architects
  • Seattle
  • Thomas M. Phifer, FAIA
  • Thomas Phifer & Partners
  • New York City
  • Seth H. Wentz, AIA
  • LSC Design, Inc.
  • York, Pennsylvania

Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy