Team Austria Fashions LISI

The Vienna University of Technology was the overall winner of this year’s Solar Decathlon. Along the road to the podium they won a 1st place in Communications, Hot Water and Energy Balance, received 2nd place in Market Appeal and 4th place in both Home Entertainment and Architecture. The overall cost of the house with the energy systems and appliances included was $306,000.

Team Austria

Here’s the winner of the 2013 Solar Decathlon!

The Solar Decathlon tests a home’s performance by putting it through 10 different competitions. This team did well and maintained a 3 point lead over the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In order to receive a score in the Entertainment event, each team must host two dinner parties and screen an accompanying film. This tests the home’s general electrical systems and the combined efficiency of the appliances. They aren’t sitting around saving electricity and using candles. They’re watching films on large screen TVs, using blenders for drinks, making multi-course meals and leaving the lights on. It’s all powered by the sun. Here are the Dinner Menus and Recipes from the Vienna University of Technology (29 page pdf, 4.7 mb and you’ll get a recipe for apple strudel.)

Photo Gallery

This home was very photogenic with its graceful, yet strong features.


  • Renewable and eco-friendly construction and insulation materials made of timber are easily transported and provide indoor climate comfort and carbon-neutrality.
  • Changeable architectural elements create a variety of sensory conditions—closing to form a protective cocoon for occupants and opening to allow them to expand their space.
  • Two patios create a balance between interior and exterior and public and semi-public spaces.
  • The passive solar design, combined with an automated screen and awning system, provides shade to keep the living spaces cool and comfortable.
  • A patio herb garden draws water from a rainwater reservoir.
  • Generous storage, completely integrated into the walls, frees the primary indoor space from clutter.



  • Photovoltaic modules provide an annual surplus, which can be used to power electric bikes or vehicles.
  • A centralized utility room contains all the automated mechanical systems the house needs, including a photovoltaics monitor, ventilation, plumbing, and hot water supply.
  • Two high-efficiency, air-water heat pumps supply cold and hot water for space heating and cooling as well as for domestic hot water.
  • An energy-recovery ventilation unit acts as a heat and humidity exchanger between exhaust air and fresh intake air to keep the living spaces comfortable and healthy.
  • A multifunctional subfloor system regulates the indoor climate using water, air, and active cubic capacity.
  • A heat-recovering shower tray reduces the energy demand for hot water by almost one-third.
  • Through a tablet application, the automated house control hub, energy performance history, and live data can be accessed in an intuitive way.


Final Overall Score

The team finished in 1st place with a total of 951.922 points.

The team finished in 1st place with a total of 951.922 points.



A student continues to give tours as the evening approaches.

All of the teams learned a lot in the Solar Decathlon to design, build, finish, dismantle, transport, rebuild, compete in the competition and display the homes (with a smile, over and over and over again) to help educate the public.

This team crossed an ocean and dominated. (Maybe it’s that special confidence and security that comes with having great social systems like healthcare for its citizens.)

They all had amazing, sometimes arduous, yet highly educational and rewarding experiences. The final score is a summation of task completion, monitored performance of the homes and jury evaluations within 10 events.
Features and technologies sections from

Visit the team’s website:

Keya Lea

Keya Lea likes to spend time outside, enjoying the sun.

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