In It's Not Easy Being Green, Curbed pulls back the curtain on cutting-edge, environmentally friendly design, from urban passive houses to green tweaks on suburban living. Have a suggestion for an upcoming column? Pass it along.
Like a sweet science project realized on a large scale, the environmentally conscious Solar House by the Italian Studio Albori harnesses the power of the sun in three separate ways. Sited on a sunny bluff in the mountains of Val d'Aosta, Italy, the three-story, 893-square-foot structure is completely covered in rows of narrow windows along its southern façade, which takes advantage of unfiltered natural light during the daytime, eliminating the need for both heat and indoor lighting. Next, sunlight is "stored and released" via mineral salts in the PCM window panes (that's Phase Change Material in science-speak), while up top, a roof made from solar panels provides energy for the entire home, save for the wood-burning stove on the ground floor. As the great many green houses of the day continue to prove, environmentalism and style need not be mutually exclusive. Despite its simple, untreated local wood siding, the narrow mountain cabin looks modern and cool in its angular build. Take a peek, below: