Andrew Michler

Velux Sunlighthouse is Austria's First Net-Zero Energy and Carbon House

by , 06/07/11


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The home’s long skinny lot, with partial shading and awkward orientation prevented the architects from achieving the aggressive Passivhaus standards. Instead they maximized the solar potential as well as the efficiency. The large sloping roof maximizes solar exposure hosting three technologies, which make full use of the sun. The first is a grid of skylights that provide passive solar and maximize daylighting throughout the space. Rows of solar thermal panels set between the skylights heat domestic water and assist in space heating. Finally a 48 square meter solar array provides 1/3 more electricity than the home consumes.

The mechanical system is focused on a brine water ground-source heat pump for the underfloor heat and hot water needs. Passive cooling is achieved during the warmer months with an elegant design that uses an open stairway and the stack effect. Windows automatically open and the energy recovery ventilator shuts off in accordance to the room temperature, making the system work with little intervention by the occupants.

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  1. bobbylynn October 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I have finished installing the Velux 30 X 30 vented curb mounted sky lights. I love how easy they are installed. Velux engineering of the screens are wrong. The screens fit the way Velux designed but the design will allow bugs to go around the screen. Do not e-mail me until you examine the design. It needs some sort of felt to seal the edges and it needs 4 holding pigs not 2. To stop bottom edge of screen from dropping 5/16″ the screen needs two more pins. I have had Velux service man out He agreed there is enough room for bugs to come into the room. The Service Man is giving me felt and maybe screens that fit closer. I am frustrated that no one will look at the design with the thought it may need to be changed. Velux Service Man said it is right. It is not correct. Will someone please help.

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