Stein Hemmes Wirtz were tasked with designing and building a two-story, energy efficient home in Farschweiler, Germany. The owners wanted to maximize the view of the countryside using large windows and a custom glass wall on one side of the house, but didn't want to lose any heat generated by the air exchange system. The answer came in the form of quadruple-glazed windows and a geothermal pump that draws heat from the earth's crust, warming the air being pumped into the house and helping to maintain a constant temperature. Keep reading for more of this stunning home's green design features.
The architects constructed the home with laminated timbers that were fastened together using dowels. The lower level of the home can be accessed from a car pad and is shielded by an overhanging roof created by the upper level. Concrete was used in the base construction, forming a retaining wall that also prevents moisture from the hillside from permeating the home. Wood was the material of choice for the upper level, with an added layer of wood fiber creating an airtight shell that is free from thermal bridges. The walls store heat in an almost identical fashion to masonry walls.
Additional sustainable features include an exterior cladding of Siberian Larch—a by-product of the window industry. Photovoltaic modules blend in style with the Larch, and a concrete pad that forms the floor of the upper level extends outside to provide space for a porch, in addition to adding an extra layer of insulation.
The interior styling features an open floor plan with the white lacquered finish kitchen reaching out into the space from the long panoramic window wall that beautifully frames the vibrant green hillside just outside. A central division is created by the abrupt ending of the kitchen and an accompanying skylight directly above the line.