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Most buildings are content to derive a portion of their heating from solar technology, but this groundbreaking Josef Jenni structure produces double its energy requirement with its massive solar roof.

Through the use of huge solar thermal flat plates, Josef Jenni's design transports solar heat accumulated on the roof into a large 200-cubic-meter tank via copper tubing. The system has the dual advantage of being able to provide the house with carbon-zero hot water while simultaneously heating its floorboards.

To date, Josef Jenni's design is the most dramatic example of solar heating technology in the world, but its success will likely influence many other construction projects to follow suit -- especially in countries where heating a building year-round can be a monumental expense.