The house that provides its own energy
In 2016, the "house of the future", a it was dubbed by the press was built in canton Zurich. The building can collect and store enough solar power to fulfill the energy needs of its tenants.
The innovative, multi-family house is claimed to be the world’s first energy self-sufficient apartment block. The dwelling was built in Brütten and can house up to nine families.
The construction of a self-sufficient house poses the engineering challenge of balancing tenant energy requirements with the amount of energy that the building can produce. To overcome this hurdle, the House of the Future minimises both energy consumption and energy loss, and has its roof and façade covered with energy-efficient solar panels. Once completed, only LED lights will be used, and all household appliances will comply with the latest energy consumption standards.
The engineering company behind the project estimates that only one hour of sunlight will be sufficient to power the entire building for 24 hours.
To ensure that surplus energy is available during bad weather days, a power-to-gas plant, which converts solar energy into hydrogen, has been integrated into the house. When insufficient energy is produced from sunlight alone, a fuel cell will use the hydrogen to generate the needed electricity.
Read more: The Swiss houses making energy go a long way