Gallery: Ultra-Efficient Danish Home Produces More Energy Than It Needs

The home's energy systems are all optimized and work together to minimize energy use.
The home's energy systems are all optimized and work together to minimize energy use.

The Home For Life is one of eight experimental homes financed by VKR Holding in a plan to construct sustainable buildings called Active Houses throughout Europe. VKR Holding is working in collaboration with VELUX, VELFAC, SONNENKRAFT and WindowMaster, along with AART Architects to design and build the Home For Life. The home itself is a 2,045 sq ft two-bedroom, one and a half story home, that is designed to integrate sustainability and functionality into one cohesive project.

The slate roof is covered with a photovoltaic solar system and a solar hot water system, which when coupled with a heat pump and a super energy-efficient design can produce more power than is needed. In the winter, about 50% of the heating is provided by passive solar heating from the energy optimized windows. In the summer, an automatic natural ventilation system opens windows to control airflow through the house when needed. Daylighting plays a huge roll in the design of the house — and every room has windows on at least 2 sides.

After the home was completed the Simonsen family moved in and has been keeping track of how livable the home is. They keep notes about the home on their family diary blog (only in Danish), explaining how the automatic controls do or don’t work. It’s one thing to design a super efficient and automatically-controlled “smart home,” but it’s quite another to live in it. The Active House project is collecting all of this information from the family and will then apply that to the next houses they build.

+ Active Houses


Via IEEE Spectrum


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  1. manny August 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The energy used in building is as important as that used once it is built. A zero-energy house can use 30 years’ worth of energy to build because it uses materials such as steel, concrete and plastic

  2. ines p August 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Great experiment. It would be very good if they would translate some of this family’s thoughts also in Enghlish. So we would also understand their experience.

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