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Inspiring examples

There are already many inspiring examples of nearly zero energy buildings all over Europe. A taste of what you might visit this fall:

1. Detached single family house, Ig pri Ljubljani - Slovenia
Classification: Plus energy house 
Owner: Mitja Petkovšek, Slovenian gymnast and two times World cup final champion, three times European champion, and very enthusiastic NZEB owner
Year of construction: 2009 
Architects: Danijel Čelig, Arhilab d.o.o. 
Mechanical system: SI. ING Darko Sušnik s.p 
Treated floor area: 131m² 
Heating demand:  14kWh/(m²a) (PHPP’07 methodology) 
Primary energy demand:  103kWh/(m²a) 
Construction: Lightweight prefabricated timber building  

Ecological building materials: Timber structure, cellulose insulation 
Ventilation: Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system – η > 80% 
Heating: Air source heat pump 

  • Exterior wall: 0,081W/m2K
  • Roof: 0,087W/m2K
  • Floor: 0,112W/m2K
  • Windows: Uw = 0,78W/m2K
  • Glazing: Ug = 0,56W/m2K, g = 0,47 

air tightness building envelope:  n50 = 0,4h-1 
It has been decided to build energy efficient house already at the design stage. Modern architectural design follows the concept of energy efficient construction. Sleeping and living rooms are faced with large glass areas to the south. Straight facade lines and compact design with clean architectural details reduce the possibility of thermal bridges in the building envelope. Canopy above ground floor is an excellent example of architectural detail in function. It gives additional space for the installation of solar power and at the same time provides shade for the living spaces on the ground floor from the hot summer sun. Detailed planning was supported by PHPP’07 calculations and so the most energy efficient solution was found. Continuity in external thermal and airtight envelope was ensured in design and construction phase. Windows were installed according to the German RAL standards (with sealing in three planes), which ensures proper air tightness.  Ventilation system with heat recovery ensures permanent air quality. Air source heat pump is used for heating and DHW. PV modules are mounted on the roof (area of 62,5m2; expected annual electricity production is 8000kWh). Building structure costs (gross) are 957€/m2 – these costs only include the construction and the building services. 

2. Library, Mönsterås - Sweden
Classification: Low energy new building 
Owner: Mönsterås municipality Year of construction: 2013 
Architects:Atrio Arkitekter i Kalmar AB 
Treated floor area: 1100 m² 
Final heating demand: 40 kWh/(m²a) 
Primary energy demand: 40 kWh/(m²a) 
Construction: Steel and wood frame, concrete   
Electricity production:   PV 20000 kWh/year 
Ventilation: Exhaust air heat exchanger 
Heating: District heating

The PV on the roof produces the same energy amount that the building requires on a yearly basis, which corresponds to the electricity consumption of five households. The outdoor lighting is LED. The heating is supplied by district heating, produced by waste heat from the nearby pulp industry, based on biomass. The energy consumption is monitored in the entrance hall, including data of electricity heating consumption and the PV electricity production. The roof is partly sedum. The sedum roof insulates and minimizes the load on the water system since the rain water is drained to the groundwater. The thick walls, the airtight construction and well insulated walls guaranties a very low level of heat losses. Heating and ventilation is split up in sections to reduce the energy consumption and give the highest air quality possible. The heat recovery system on the exhaust air has 80% efficiency. The library has 70% less energy demand than a traditional building.

Total costs appr. 3,3 million €

3. Apartment building, Linz - Upper Austria
Classification: Low energy multiflatbuilding refurbishment
Owner: Giwog (Social housing association) 
Year of construction: 1957, year of renovation: 2005 
Architects: ARGE Arch.DI Gerhard Kopeinig, DI Ingrid Domenig-Meisinger 
Treated floor area: 3106 m² 
Heating demand: 14.4 kWh/(m²a) 
Construction: massive construction 
Hot water: district heating (biomass CHP) 
Ecological building materials: GAP solar façade  
Ventilation: mechanical ventilation with heat recovery for each room 
Heating: district heating 

  •   Exterior wall: 0.08 W/m²K
  •   Roof: 0.9 W/m²K
  •   Floor: 0.21 W/m²K
  •   Windows: 0.86 W/m²K

The main reasons for the renovation were complaints by tenants regarding poor usability of the balconies because of the strongly increased traffic frequency on the street below. Additionally, the building was due to renovation, high energy costs and the wish to do a pilot project to collect experience for other projects also were part of the motivation. Now, after the renovation, the tenants are very happy about their new living quality. For example, a tenant was suffering from a dust allergy. She reported that now, after the renovation and installation of the mechanical ventilation, the symptoms disappeared and she does not have difficulties in breathing any longer.

Renovation costs appr € 2,4 million € (incl. VAT)


4. Attached single unit house, Mortsel - Belgium

Classification: very low energy renovation
Owner:  Gert Camerlinck 
Location: Mortsel 
Year of construction: 2010 
Architects: Gert Camerlinck 
Treated floor area:  150 m² 
Heating demand:  14 kWh/(m²a) 
Construction: Timber frame construction with FSC label 
Ventilation: mechanical ventilation with heat recovery for each room 
  Exterior wall: 0,20 W/m²K 
  Roof: 0,09 W/m²K 
  Floor: 0,10 W/m²K 
  Windows: 0,80 W/m²K 
  Glazing: 0,60 W/m²K  
air tightness building envelope: 0,28 h41 
Terraced house with a pleasant interior climate by renovating according to passive house principles and by using primarily bio-ecological materials or materials with a low environmental impact.