HelioMet’s answer to sustainable urban development

London Metropolitan University’s team, HelioMet, are pleased to announce their striking new design as the only UK entry into the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012.  A global competition established by the US Department of Energy that challenges universities to design, build and operate a fully sustainable house; using solar energy as the only energy source and equipped with the latest in energy efficiency technology.

The only UK entry, known as SunBloc, has been designed to address the issues facing sustainable urban development. Constructed of innovative, low-cost, lightweight materials and utilising a PassivHaus strategy; the house is suitable for any environment and can adapt to reclaim unused parts of the city, from disused railways to building rooftops.

The team, largely comprised of students from Department of Architecture and Spatial Design, have not only designed a building that could change the urban landscape for the future, they have utilised the latest in energy efficiency methods to radically reduce the amount of energy used by the house.  With the latest in solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technology, SunBloc will generate enough energy, to not only power itself but also the surrounding buildings or even to building it sits on.

Although SunBloc has been created to be market viable, each design is tailored to suit both the location and the individual’s interior requirements.  The house’s furniture and utilities are integrated into the design, providing the occupant with fluid, sensuous living environment.

For the main competition event, the house will be constructed and tested in Madrid. The innovative designs of the 20 universities will also be open to public, creating awareness of the many opportunities presented by clean-energy products and the innovative developments being made in sustainable construction.  The team is, however, looking to exhibit their entry in London during July 2012 – to demonstrate SunBloc to an even wider audience.

Anne Markey, Head of ASD Projects in the Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Design stated “It is great to see students from London Metropolitan University be part of this competition – the future of the industry is developed through initiatives such as the Solar Decathlon competition, bringing together academics, students and organisations from various disciplines”

The HelioMet Team would also like to thank structural engineers, AKT; environmental engineers, BDSP Partnership; and quantity surveyors, Gardiner & Theobald for their continued support to ensure this project is a success. The project is completely funded by the support of other organisations, so if you wish be part of this innovative competition please get in touch.


This very website already featured an article of a pre-fabricated 'smart-house' if I'm not mistaken which is weather proof, energy efficient and equipped with solar for power generation.

And hopefully many more will come!