With buildings accounting for 40% of carbon emissions in the Western world, and 30% of buildings having deficient indoor climates, we sought to create a carbon-neutral building that would benefit from solar energy, both actively by producing electricity and solar heat and passively by benefitting from the heat of the sun.
Together with engineers, manufacturers and researhers, we came up with the design for Home for Life – an active house producing more energy than it conumes. With an expected energy surplus of 9 kWh/m2/year, it takes Home for Life approx. 35 years to produce the same amount of energy that was used to produce its materials, and by that time, the house will have returned more to nature than it has consumed. Over the long-term, therefore, the house will be an asset for rather than a burden on the environment.
Furthermore, the structure of Home for Life is made of wood, while the facades are clad with natural slate, the floor tiles consist of mosaics of recycled glass and the windows use the latest energy-conserving glass technology. In addition, the window area represents 40 percent of the surface area, which is twice the area compared to a traditional single-family house.
In this way, Home for Life ensures a healthy indoor climate by optimizing daylight, creating a close contact with nature and having integrated sensors that measure the heat, air humidity and CO2 in all rooms. The house also has an automatic facade system that adapts to the seasons of the year and draws fresh air into the house.
“Developments in the field of low energy housing have come a long way with Home for Life. The house is beautifully designed and provides inspiration for both newly constructed houses and housing renovation projects.”Erik Rimmer, chief editor at Bo Bedre / Bo Grøn Award 2009