Architecture & Passive Design

February 3, 2014

This story about a passive house comes from the architectural firm, Studio APXE.

apxe  passive 3 images (1)

“Тhe family passive house is situated in Delta Hill, the vicinity of Kladnica village, the south green slopes of Vitosha mountain in a picturesque area.

“The headway and experience gained of the Studio APXE team contributed for our most significant success till now.

“The challenge was to fit successfully the large scale one-storey building in the green landscape without appearing foreign and superfluous there. We detached by their volumes and structure the garage and the cold service premises from the residential part. This solved many technological and energy problems with the external surface thermal bridges. The volume of the garage is fitted at street level, dug into the rock and the house is partially over it, standing broad.

“The building was built with a lightweight ecological load bearing structure. Only the foundations, the supporting frames and the roof of the garage are made of reinforced concrete. Everything else is designed with a lightweight steel and timber structures. This lightens the weight of the structure and reduces the budget as well. Laminated wood beams and columns pergola with built-in sun protection form the appearance and the elements of the architectural envelope.

“The house is designed in accordance with the Studio APXE. Here are the energy parameters calculated in PHPP:

  • The specific heating energy demand is 12 kWh/m2 annually;
  • The need for primary energy for all purposes is 38 kWh/m2 annually. This is significantly lower than the maximum allowed value for a passive house 120 kWh/m2annually. We achieved this value by replacing the heat source with a biomass one, which is yet another contribution to the green concept of the building because of reducing  the coefficient for primary energy;
  • Excellent air-tightness level with a result from Blower door test n50: 0.13 h-1 on the preliminary and 0.19 h-1 on the final test. (Hundreds of details were designed during construction in order to get a satisfactory result under the required 0.6 h-1 for a passive house).
  • The house needs no cooling in summer.

“How did we achieve these results in the design? With excellent insulation, optimized compact size and careful balance of glazing, with PHPP calculations, sun protection, reduced or no thermal bridges, innovative electricity services and lighting, and last but not least – a ventilation system with heat recovery with the highest characteristics.”

Photo: Studio APXE & Gizmag


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