The Fab Lab House is a self-sufficient dwelling produced to take part in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 competition by a consortium of organizations and companies led by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, The Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT and the Global Fab Lab Network. The objective was to design an integral solar house with the technologies of that time, to generate maximum resources with minimum investment. A house built for people, committed to creating the city, and connected with the whole world. Welcome to the Fab Lab House.
“A solar house should be made from a solar material such as wood.” – Salvador Rueda, ecologist Director of the Barcelona Urban Ecology Agency
“Rather than making solar houses, we can create self-sufficient habitats that are able to produce energy, food and other goods.” – Vicente Guallart, IAAC Co-founder and former Chief Architect of Barcelona
The Fab Lab House is a home conceived as an active center of resource production rather than a space of passive consumption. The house generates more than twice the energy it needs to function, by means of its photovoltaic system; it produces food in its permaculture garden and fruit trees, and has a small fab lab, connected via videoconferencing with the global network of Fab Labs, for the manufacture of everyday objects.
“The Fab Lab House is developed in a network of fabrication laboratories using numerical control machines which allow homes to be customized to the needs of their occupants and their environment.” – Neil Gershenfeld, physicist Director of the Center for Bits and Atoms, MIT
The Fab Lab House is not simply a box with solar panels on its roof; its physical structure is integrated with its energy production and management of the information it generates. The Fab Lab House, developed with an open design, can be fabricated with local materials anywhere in the world. Its organic form, which responds directly to its environment, can be produced using advanced industrial systems which allow each dwelling to be made to measure for its users. The interior space is a multifunctional loft in which to work and rest, equipped with information technology to produce knowledge and connect to the world.
Form Follows Energy
If the twentieth century championed the premise that ‘form follows function’, in the 21st century ‘form follows energy.’ The house is no longer a machine but an organism for living in.
A Climate-passive Structure
The Fab Lab House uses the resources of its environment — sun, water and wind — to create a microclimate that passively optimizes the basic conditions of habitability.
A House, a Tree
A house is like a tree that captures energy with its solar ‘leaves’ and sends it down to its roots, where it is stored, shared, or returned to the house to produce the fruit of electricity.
A Transparent Metabolism
The house’s control system is designed to provide detailed real-time monitoring of its behavior and its interaction with the environment, creating historical profiles and sharing these socially.
The Fab Lab House consortium of companies is committed to the production of solar homes with a package of services which includes the design, fabrication, installation and maintenance of the house and its surroundings.
Photo ©Adrià Goula.