Soleta ZeroEnergy One sustainable eco home by FITS

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Soleta ZeroEnergy One is a sustainable home designed by FITS (Foundation for Inventics and Sustainable Technologies), located in Bucharest, Romania. It is part of an initiative called the Soleta zeroEnergy, which seeks to create self-sustainable homes.

Soleta zeroEnergy is a new concept of premium eco homes, developed by the Justin Capra Foundation for Inventics and Sustainable Technologies (FITS). The finalized functional prototype of this concept, Soleta zeroEnergy One, is in Bucharest, Romania. Following the architectural and constructive concepts of this prototype, a whole family of Soleta homes, with multiple functionalities and of different sizes, easily adaptable to a host of destinations, such as home (permanent use or vacation), office, kindergaden or sport/fitness joints was developed.

Affordable and versatile, with minimal energy consumption, low running costs and positive eco-impact, Soleta concept is a viable alternative solution for conventional housing construction technologies. Soleta homes are defined by an unusual architecture, enclosing a bright, healthy, fully monitored environment.

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The pillars of Soleta concept can be summarized by four fundamental principles:

1. Reducing energy consumption, by minimizing loss and employing energy-saving measures.
2. Using renewable energy forms such as geo, solar, wind, hydro and so on.
3. Creating the most efficient way of using conventional forms of energy, when renewable energy sources are not available. In order to reduce pollution, a set of active measures, such as tree planting, garbage recycling, etc. are employed.
4. Creating a modular living solution architectural concept which allows increasing the comfort and functionality by adding future modules at any time after erecting the building, without interfering with the structural integrity of the building.

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zeroEnergy concept. Ecology.

In the last few years, studies has shown that many of the low-energy homes constructive solutions creates a serious discomfort for their inhabitants. These homes are over-insulated, the costs for a healthy interior environment are sky-rocketing and the home-environment interaction is lessening. The ancestral link between nature and home is currently missing. In stark contrast, Soleta zeroEnergy employs a series of energy-efficient technologies that minimizes loss and provides the necessary energy for the home (zeroEnergy concept) using renewable sources (sun, wind, hydro, geo, etc.), without adversely impacting the environment.

Therefore, the exterior sides of the home, directly exposed to the elements (walls) are kept to a minimum and high-efficiency window panels that provides natural lighting (free sunlight) are used. Soleta homes comes with: natural ventilation system, integrated forced ventilation with energy recovery system, thermal energy storage integrated in floor, LED lighting and rainwater storage and treatment system. For further economy, a smart energy, climate and ventilation monitoring and managing system (KNX) is used. Reducing energy consumption by up to 45%, this system can also be remote controlled using a mobile phone or a similar device.

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For heating and warm water production, there are many solutions available:

A combined system of solar heat collectors – water-water heat pump;
High efficiency wood or wood pellets stove – solar heat collectors;
Air-air heat pump – solar collectors.

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Soleta homes are built using natural, locally available, renewable materials, with the exception of polyurethane thermal insulation and plasterboards for the interior walls finishing (the latter could also be replaced by plyboard, made from natural wood.) The structure is made of glue-laminated wood, and the roofing is also constructed of wood: traditional shingle tiles. The floors are constructed of pinewood, thermally insulated with yet another natural material, cellulose. The stylish exterior walls are made of white-painted spruce wood planks.

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Soleta zeroEnergy One

Soleta One is the first Soleta ZeroEnergy concept home built in Romania.

Soleta zeroEenergy One has a particular and innovating architecture. Besides the 48 sqm. interior, a suspended under-roof sleeping area with 9 sqm. (96 sqft) and an exterior terrace with 22 sqm. (237 sqft) are built as an integrated, fully functional unit. Currently, Soleta One is FITS’s showroom, and we welcome daily visits. Soleta One is located in Bucharest, Romania, in the front of the U.S. Embassy.

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Photos: Courtesy of FITS

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Thierry Lefèvre
10 years ago

That’s quite the unique design! I’ve been looking at a lot of sustainable construction this last little bit, and lot’s of the buildings are strangely shaped. What about the shape saves energy? Is it minimizing wasted space? I’ve seen a lot of open areas in these buildings, though, like in these homes at http://www.ecoprojects.net.au. What are the biggest factors in building a eco-friendly building?