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Style Box

Tongji Team
2696 Readership
Style Box
Based on the concept of a sustainable building highly industrialized and adaptive to different needs and environment. On the other hand, the house can also provide a comfortable and poetic space which can interact with the outdoor space and landscape.

Style Box is an energy-efficient and well-designed house that can generate enough thermal and electrical energy to meet the needs of a household, and maintain a renewable energy self-supply in order to reduce environmental and economic impacts.

Our design will be characterized by integration of both passive and active methods, interaction between interior and exterior space and highly industrialized and market-oriented modules.

Both passive and active methods will be utilized in our design, Including natural ventilation, use of life-cycle and environmental analyses for design decision making, use of recycled and non-processed materials, implementation of an environmental management system, PV/T system, misting system, water treatment and waste treatment etc.

Style Box is a configuration used from ancient China. Ancient Chinese people think that, a place is surrounded by 8 squares, and a place’s Qi (Energy) is affected by different conditions from these eight directions. To respond to the different conditions, the house must respond differently to different squares, namely, directions.


The Spatial Design of the house if based on the concept of merging the living space with the landscape and creating a rich spatial sequence which also act as important sustainable strategies. It is mainly reflected in the following aspects:

Spacial Sequence

The space sheltered by the solar panels is occupied by volume and grey space, which can provide a good transition between the indoor and outdoor space.

The grey space provides a comfortable entrance area and an outdoor dining area. By opening the doors, interior space can be enlarged and extend to the grey space, which provide a desirable space when party begins.

Strategies to Different Environmental

To respond to the different environmental conditions, we integrated different strategies to make the house highly adaptive to different environments.

The functional structure is covered by a shelter with solar panels, creating a transition from public space, semi-public space to private space, and at the same time, formed three different environmental conditions, namely the intense outdoor condition, the moderate grey space condition, and the comfortable indoor condition.

Because of the rich solar resource on the west side, the solar panels are designed on the west façade to generate more energy. The perforated shading panels on the façade can rotate and slide to provide different enclosures and respond to different environments.

The holes perforated on the panels are designed according to a poetic photography of mountain which forms different size of hole. The lager holes on the lower section allow more wind to blow in and create a beautiful night scene.

In our design, the Living space and the Landscape are locked together and merge with each other to create a sustainable and poetic living. The Pool is located under the sheltered area, so that the water can be sheltered from the direct sunshine and keep a low temperature in summer. When wind blows in, the water in the pool can pretreat it before entering the interior space.

Engineering & Construction

Structure Design

The main structure is composed of 8 prefabricated modules, each of which can be divided into two parts. After the adjustment of the bases in the site, the modules will be hanged onto the top of bases which are prefabricated by steel. When the main structure is finished, C steel frames are set up to support the solar panels.

The main structure of the module is frame structure so as to save space for water pipes and other equipments which constitute the module. The solar panels and perforated shading panels on the façade are being held by beams and columns which is standing on the foundation or on the modules’ columns.

As the module’s structure section need to be as small as possible and one of the main objectives of the design is sustainability, so the material should be high strength and environmental friendly. We referred to some papers and books and found out that laminated bamboo can meet these conditions.

The mechanics properties of bamboo are closely related to its structure. Bamboo is consisted of bark of bamboo, basic tissue and marrow ring. Basic tissue is composed by vascular bundle and thin wall cells. The vascular is formed by a primary wood tube, a toughness skin and two wood vessels. The outer part of all these four tissues is caps fiber.

Plumbing System Design

In the plumbing system, design complies with four principles: safety, water saving, energy saving and reuse. In order to achieve it, high-efficiency fixtures and supply pump with integrate frequency converter are used. In addition, the water heater is designed with the heat pump based on heat recovery and energy use efficiency. The feed tank is located in the west side of the house, while the waster water tanks are located in the north side of the house.

Electrical System Design

Smart Energy Management System, or SEMS for short, can smartly manage electric power supply and equipments to achieve high efficiency energy usage and to provide a comfortable house environment (including light, temperature, humidity and etc.).

SEMS can achieve these functions listed below:

  • Power supply monitoring and control
    Monitoring PV array and AC inverter
    Monitoring power line
  • Energy statistics-Electrical equipment monitoring and control
    Measure power consumption from electrical equipments
    Control AC equipments to optimize power usage
    Control electrical appliance to optimize power usage
    Light environment control
    Provide comfortable light environment through illumination design
    Light control system can switch light scheme automatic or on demand
    Controlling emergency lights -Information display and human-machine interface
    Display energy data in graphics, including intermediate data and statistics
    Providing centralized control interface
    Providing remote control interface through internet, mobile phone,  etc.
    Providing graphical interface for customizing control scheme

The structure of SEMS consists of the following sub-systems:

Central Display and Control Unit (CDCU) -Power supply sub-system -Sensor network (Temperature sensors, Illumination sensors, PIR human body sensors) -Actuator network (Fixed equipment, Electrical appliance on Smart Power Outlets).


Photovoltaic System Design

SANYO HIT Power 220A solar panel was chosen for its high efficiency, suitable size, and it can produce electricity even on cloudy or rainy days. HIT solar cells are hybrids of mono crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers.

SANYO HIT Power 220A solar panels are installed on a plat roof representative of modern architectural characteristics and aesthetics, and collect solar energy with a zero PV solar angle to generate electricity based on Madrid’s local latitude. PV panels are installed on both roofs and on a west facade.

Each module’s size is 798mm×1580mm, with capacity rating of 220Wp and module efficiency of 17.4 %. PV covered area is 81.23 on roof and 32.8? on the west facade. The total installed capacity is about 18 kW, which can safely meet our requirement. From NASA meteorological database we got the Madrid’s monthly solar radiation data to as a reference for our simulation.

Industrialization & Market Viability

Market viability of the product

The program can adapt to different application requirements in various climate conditions and regions because of its flexibility of changes. For example, the shade system and ventilation system can provide cooling for buildings in the hot areas.

The outside the gray space can be closed for construction for insulation in cold regions. China is now developing new energy sources and carrying out water saving technology, government will provide policies and financial support for the use of these technologies. Moreover, China has the largest number of people in the world, we believe the program will have a bright future both at home and abroad.

Degree of industrialization

In order to facilitate the transportation and installation, the program uses a modular design, the two different modules of height are assembled as a whole module. After assembling different modules of function we can get a complete set of housing.

The module and the shading system are independent of each other, and we design different modules of function and different type of shading system, they can combine together flexibly, in order to meet the needs of different consumers.

Possibilities for Grouping

The different modules of function can be assembled in order to meet different requirements of homes. For example, we can get a dormitory or a soho apartment by repeating the same type of unit. If we put these buildings together, we can get a residential rapidly. And the most important thing is, all the modules can be manufactured in the factory


Innovation in Architecture

The innovation of the Style Box is to combine several aspects of architectural design with the sustainable notion. We combine the notion of Style Box with the strategies to different environmental conditions and the prefabricated modules; we combine the poetic landscape with its function of adjusting the bioclimate. Through the Style Box, we would like to convey the notion that aesthetics and sustainability can be integrated into one building.

Innovation in Energy Efficiency

Our goal is to optimally integrate new energy technologies, build a comfortable house with a combination of passive and active strategies, which will be extended to future market. More and more evidences show that excessive consumption of fossil fuel causes climate warming while facing energy shortage, so our philosophy is to encourage public participation in energy saving based the designed house platform. The innovations in energy efficiency are as follows.

Natural ventilation

We optimize the location and direction of windows. The moveable shutter around Style Box can adjust the direction of wind and shade. There are two pools on the west and sounth of house , when the wind blew over them, the air will be cooled, and then come into indoor through the windows on the bottom of wall.

The air flows through the living room, bedroom and dining room, taking away the exhausted heat of the house, and come out of the house through the solar chimney. In the top of the chimney, there are some metal plates in order to strengthen the effect of the chimney.

Integrated HVAC and water tank

Integrated HVAC and water tank A HVAC heat pump and a hot water tank are designed to be an integrated system, where the exhausted heat from the heat pump is used to as an assistant heat source or exclusively heat water if solar radiation is not enough in winter or raining day.

For the integrated system, as there is no direct contact of refrigerant coil with the storage water, there is no risk of the storage water contaminated by the refrigerant in terms of any leakage. For the ventilation side, the needed outdoor air can is delivered based on the required reading data by the CO2 monitor located in the return section, and can be treated after heat exchange with indoor exhaust air.

Cold Radiation Cooling at Night

According to the Spanish climate in summer?air in the high altitude is low when air up the ground is higher, so we would like to utilize the cold radiation to cool water, to get cold water. The specific technology is follow: firstly, we extract cold water up to roof (surface of PV)with the help of pump, meanwhile, the water can wash the PV plane, then collect water on the plane to the storage tank.

Evaporation Cooling

Solar photovoltaic panels generate electricity during the day, its temperature will rise, and affect its efficiency, so we think of the solution as follow: firstly, install sprinkler at the back of PV plane, then, extract cold water that we collect up with the help of pump, secondly, spray cold water to the back with the state of fog, at the high temperature, the fog will be evaporated, so the temperature of PV plane will drop.

High Efficiency Envelope

Envelope insulation is vital for building energy consumption, and a best high performance envelope is a cost-efficiency strategy. Vacuum insulation panel (VIP) is used in the house, and significantly reduces the thickness of the walls and guarantees the best thermal effects, because VIPs are 7-10 times than traditional insulation materials in thermal effects.

In order to keep envelope insulation at a good condition, insulation materials must be dry and can be functioning normally. VIP is completely environmental—friendly material which contain no ODS?Due to its good insulation performance, it is considered as one of the most efficient insulation material in the world.

Waterproof membrane protects a home like a windbreaker, stopping the wind and rain from getting in, forming a protective skin around the house. However, it is breathable, allowing moisture inside the house envelope to escape, and helping to prevent costly water damage.

Innovation in the Industrialization and Market Viability

The Style Box can adapt to different application requirements in various climate conditions’ regions because of its flexibility of changes. For example, the shade system and pull ventilation system can provide cooling for buildings in the hot areas. The outside the gray building space can be closed for construction for insulation in cold regions.


Concept of Sustainability

The main construction material of our solar house is laminated bamboo which is more environmentally friendly than both steel and wood. This material is made of bamboo, where use of local materials supports the local economy and reduces the harmful impacts of transport, and the bamboo is a renewable resource and widely used to make household products in China, for example bamboo floors.

In the plumbing system, water efficiency is taken into an account. Grey water from clothes washer, shower and lavatory faucets is collected, it is reused for irrigation. High efficiency dual flush is used in the house.

According to energy production and usage, our design goal is to optimally integrate new energy technologies with Chinese architectural aesthetics, build a comfortable house with a combination of passive and active strategies, which will be extended to future market. More and more evidences show that excessive consumption of fossil fuel causes climate change while facing energy shortage, so our philosophy is to encourage public participation in energy saving.

Bioclimatic Strategies

Our solar house is sheltered by the solar panels, solar powered water heater and the perforated shading panel which form a grey space to cool down or heat the air for the inner space in order to reduce air-condition’s energy consumption. The perforated shading panels on the façade and the solar panels in the south part can rotate and provide different enclosures to block off the sunlight in summer and induct it in winter.

Meanwhile the misting system led between the solar panels and the roof can sprinkle water spray to lower the temperature. The unobstructed house can allow nature ventilation to take away the heat. The rainwater and grey water can be collected to be reused. The entire house is fully bioclimatic and sustainability as is shown in the picture bellow.


We designed a system to collect the rain to irrigate the vegetarians and periodically wash the solar panel in order to keep the efficiency of the solar panel. Grey water from kitchen, clothes washer, shower and lavatory faucets is also collected in another way and after being treated it can be stored in the pool or irrigate the vegetarians.

The waste water can be poured into the city waste water channel after a simple treatment which can make the water meet certain conditions.

Solid Waste

Our solar house is constructed by standard module. By using those prefabricated modules, the house’s structural component, enclosure, water pipes and other equipments can be integrated into one module.

The prefabrication can reduce most of the waste during the constructions. And the final destination of different types of wastes involved in the construction process, which will be the garbage tip, an incineration system, recycling or reuse.


The solar house’s main structure is made by laminated bamboo, which original material is bamboo and its procedure is rather environmental friendly. Bamboo is well known as the fastest-growing plants on earth, and it is widely spread all over the world.

The price of bamboo in china is only 1/10 that of the same amount of wood, and is used in many ways such as for diet or for making tools. Nowadays, the laminated bamboo is well known by more and more people since its high-strength, anticorrosion and simple producing procedure. And it is widely used as structural components, furniture, floor, etc…

Solar Facilities

High effective solar photovoltaic system is installed on both part of the roof and part of the west wall. With properly calculated area, the system can provide the house with enough electricity so that the house can satisfy its own need of electricity. It also contributes a lot to environmental protection because of burning no fossil fuels.

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Guía de Tramitación Autoconsumo Solar
Carlos Mateu

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0.08577363264 €/KWh
10/04/2020   19:53 h.

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