These Affordable Solar Homes in Sweden Produce as Much Energy as They Use

These Affordable Solar Homes in Sweden Produce as Much Energy as They Use

The compact row houses feature carefully angled solar panels that harness every moment of the sun.

A set of affordable homes for growing families just popped up in Örebro, Sweden—and they utilize passive building principles and photovoltaic panels to generate as much energy as they use each year. Stockholm-based Street Monkey Architects designed the zero-energy homes to be well insulated and nearly airtight, with ventilation systems that retain as much heat as possible.

A row of homes facing east-west is topped with a sawtooth roofline. Each home’s pitch is angled to catch as much sun as possible.

The 10 homes form an L-shaped development on a large corner lot in Örebro, Sweden. 

The homes with a north-south orientation feature silver facades. Wooden slats are affixed to every other residence for visual variation.

The homes are almost completely powered by rooftop solar panels, and on-site batteries store unused energy that can be sold back to the grid. Additionally, the buildings’ energy consumption is measured on an ongoing basis to adjust for power needs.

Each two-story, 1,600-square-foot structure is composed of six factory-built modules that arrived on-site with finished interiors. Once erected, the facades were connected together to smooth over transitional moments between the homes. Four houses face east-west, while six have a north-south orientation—and all of the roofs are topped with solar panels angled toward the path of the sun.

The solar panel–topped roofs vary slightly in height for added visual interest.

A more detailed shot shows the variation. 

Each home has a deck with an extended backyard that’s accessed via glass doors. 

Although the development is designed as an interlocking series of homes, subtle variations give each residence its own character. Some feature white plaster facades, while the row running north to south is finished in a dark, silvery steel. Wood slatting attached to every other house creates a visual rhythm—an element that Street Monkey Architects hopes will provide a sense of individuality for prospective homeowners.

The entrance (at the back corner) leads directly into the kitchen, dining room, and living room. 

The kitchen is designed in a U-shape to enable socializing and to optimize space flow.

The living room, located adjacent to the dining area, leads to the backyard.

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The homes’ interiors are open and airy. The ground-floor kitchen opens to the dining room, which leads to the the living area. There, two sets of glass doors provide access to a terrace, expanding available living space. Steel stairs suspended by vertical wires allow light to filter to the ground floor. The upper level holds three bedrooms, a family room, and a large bathroom.

Metal stairs attached via wires allow an abundance of light to reach the first floor.

At the top of the stairs is a family room with natural wood floors and white walls.

The family room sits adjacent to the bedrooms and a large bathroom. 

A master bedroom on the second floor gets natural light through glass doors. 


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