AMIE, short for Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy, is a model for energy-efficient systems that link buildings, vehicles and the grid. 

Highlighting the current trend for smart living and the need to create a personal green space within a rapidly urbanised world, AMIE also showcases a new approach to energy use, storage and consumption.

AMIE was first demonstrated at the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Industry Day event in September 2015 and is a collaboration between the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a number of industrial partners(1).  They connected a natural-gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle with a solar-powered building to create an integrated energy system, whereby power can flow in either direction between the vehicle and the building via lab-developed wireless technology.  This allows the car to provide the necessary power to the 210 ² ft house when the sun is not shining, ensuring independence from the power grid even at times of peak demand


Flexible photovoltaic panels are integrated into the house roof, which work with a natural gas-powered generator located in the vehicle to supply energy for lighting and the central micro-kitchen.

In addition to supplementing the vehicular energy source, the panels also charge the enclosure’s battery when the fixtures are not in use.

AMIE also showcases additive manufacturing’s rapid prototyping potential in architecture and vehicle design by building both the car and house using large-scale 3D printers.

The 38x12x13-foot building was designed by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) through the University of Tennessee-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism, and it was assembled by Clayton Homes, the nation’s largest builder of manufactured housing.

“Working together, we designed a building that innovates construction and building practices and a vehicle with a long enough range to serve as a primary power source,” said ORNL’s Roderick Jackson, who led the AMIE demonstration project. “Our integrated system allows you to get multiple uses out of your vehicle.”

SOM hope that the project can show how similar developments can lead to zero-waste construction, reduced material consumption and the recycling and reprinting of buildings for new forms and uses.

Further information can be found at

  • Partners on the project are: Alcoa/Kawneer; Clayton Homes; Cincinnati Incorporated; DowAksa; EPB; GE Appliances; Hexagon Lincoln; the Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation; Johnson Controls; Knoxville Utilities Board; Liberty Utilities; Line-X; Mach Fuels; NanoPore; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; Spiers New Technologies; Techmer ES; Tru-Design; and the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design.

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