Home for Life designed to produce more energy than it uses and adapt to the seasons
Home for Life is located in Lystrup outside Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus, and leads the way to the next generation of climate-neutral buildings. It is designed as the world’s first Active House and is a result of a research and design development aimed at ensuring a necessary foothold in architecture in an anticipated low-carbon future.
The 200 sq m single-family house is a CO2-neutral demonstration project, which systematically uses the energy from the sun. 7 sq m solar collectors, 50 sq m solar cells and a solar heat pump contribute to reducing the demand for energy, while strategically placed solar-cell operated roof windows offer a balanced amount of daylight to the bedrooms and the kitchen-dining room area. Furthermore, all roof windows have dynamic, solar-cell operated blinds on the inside and awnings on the outside.
The environmentally-friendly features makes Home for Life a distinctive sustainable project, since the house is designed to produce more energy than it consumes. With an estimated energy surplus of 9kWh/m2/year it takes approximately 40 years for the house to generate the same amount of energy that was used to produce its building materials and at that point the house will have returned more to nature than it consumed.
The construction of the house consists of timber framing above a concrete raft, while the floor tiles are a mosaic made from recycled glass and the building is clad externally in slate fixed battens. The window area is equivalent to 40 percent of the floor area – twice the area of a conventional low-energy building – and by maximising daylight Home for Life reduces the demand for energy and optimises the indoor climate. Furthermore, sensors which register heat, humidity and CO2 in all rooms and turn off the lights when you leave the room, help ensure a healthy indoor climate.
Home for Life is built as a joint venture by AART Architects in association with VELUX, VELFAC and consultants Esbensen Rådgivende Ingeniører.