Florida International University (FIU) recently broke ground on its Future House USA project in Beijing, China. Future House USA is one of 10 houses from eight countries being built near the site of the 2008 Olympic Summer Games as part of the Future House Community.
In addition to the U.S., Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain and Sweden were invited to build homes that reflect each countryís technological capabilities and aesthetic sensibilities.
Future House USA will feature Frank Lloyd Wright and Chinese Feng Shui design themes, focusing on originality, unity with nature and the smooth flow of air and light. Technological features include ultra-efficient geothermal heat pumps to passive and active solar systems. Despite the use of advanced technologies, construction costs are consistent with those of homes that do not include the houseís design in the technology features.
FIU was selected by Chinaís Ministry of Construction to represent the U.S. after its team won first place in Energy Balance at the 2005 National Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. The competition requires student teams to design, build and operate a solar-powered house.