Home for Life Denmark
With the age of the fossil fuel coming to an end the importance of home efficiency, particularly in the heating and cooling aspect has become immense. This does not necessarily mean that homes have to be reduced in scale, nor does it mean that features such as large windows have to be abandoned.
The Home for Life, designed by AART A/S architects in Denmark is an interesting, sustainable take on a classic Danish 1 and a half story house. The saddle roof and conventional shape of the house is beautifully contrasted by the modern materials, large windows and light filled environment.
The house is incredibly efficient, actually producing more energy than it consumes over the course of a year. It has been recorded to have an energy surplus of 9kWh/m2/year breaking even in terms of the energy put into manufacturing the materials and the entire home in 40 years. After four decades, the home will actually have a positive impact on the global environment returning more energy than it consumed. This beautiful house has a solar heat pump and approximately 7 square meters of solar collectors creating more than enough hot water regardless of season or weather conditions. For electrical energy the house also includes 50 square meters of solar cells that can be used to power most electrical devices, day and night.
But this house is more than just conventional green gadgets. The technology behind the incredible efficiency of this house is cutting edge. Each room of the house has sensors that measure its heat, CO2 levels as well as humidity. This information is coupled with an exterior weather station and linked to an intelligent control system to create the perfect environment for the house’s residents. Extra sensors automatically open windows to let in fresh air while other sensors turn off lights when rooms are empty.
The windows occupy a total of 40 percent of the building, twice as much as most modern homes. Each window is situated to maximize natural light and ventilation. The placement is thought out to let in light from two angles in each room at any time of the day. Most of the house’s heat is heat from sunlight stored in the thick concrete floors or ceramic surfaces.
While the house interacts with traditional energy suppliers, it is CO2 neutral because of its innovative combination of low and high tech measures. The spaces are warm, very light and have a minimalist decor, allowing great ventilation and a free, open-plan feeling throughout the house.