A set of affordable homes for growing families just popped up in Örebro, Sweden—and they utilize passive building principles and photovoltaic panels to generate as much energy as they use each year. Stockholm-based Street Monkey Architects designed the zero-energy homes to be well insulated and nearly airtight, with ventilation systems that retain as much heat as possible. The homes are almost completely powered by rooftop solar panels, and on-site batteries store unused energy that can be sold back to the grid. Additionally, the buildings’ energy consumption is measured on an ongoing basis to adjust for power needs. Each two-story, 1,600-square-foot structure is composed of six factory-built modules that arrived on-site with finished interiors. Once erected, the facades were connected together to smooth over transitional moments between the homes. Four houses face east-west, while six have a north-south orientation—and all of the roofs are topped with solar panels angled toward the path of the sun. Although the development is designed as an interlocking series of homes, subtle variations give each residence its own character. Some feature white plaster facades, while the row running north to south is finished in a dark, silvery steel. Wood slatting attached to every other house […]

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