Climbing the slope of sustainability

24 Nov 2009

Housing proposal sets the example for future on-site energy generation

C. F. Møller Architects' design for a 60 residence passive housing scheme has been said by judges in a design competition to raise, 'important issues about how existing and future masterplans can or should enable on-site renewable energy generation'. The firm was one of 5 consortia to generate a proposal for the pilot-project Housing+, designed for the Aalborg waterfront in Denmark.

Only C. F. Møller and the winning proposal by Arkitema Architects managed to pass the stringent energy efficiency demands creating a zero-energy scheme. In order to do so the central theme behind its design was to maximize passive energy innovations and generate as much energy as possible through the design features. Both the proximity to the fjord and the orientation of the building were utilised to borrow from the natural elements. A long sloping elevation descending towards the Limfjord provides an ideal plane for a 1200 m2 solar array, proportionate for providing the 60 housing units with the 104.400 kwh of electricity needed annually.

The fjord itself is used to power heat pumps for the building and a 3 meter wide by 12 meter tall highly insulated water-tank is integrated to store the generated energy during daytimes. With passive housing solutions integrated into the building reducing the volume of energy necessary, the energy provided by both the solar array and heat pump provide enough energy to power the building without external resources.

An additional 4 vertical low-noise wind turbines take advantage of the windy location for a power boost, and to recharge electric cars. The project’s iconic slope also provides wind shelter for a public gazebo and cafe helping to generate a community atmosphere for the high density accommodation.

The jury report commented on the design as "a radical proposal, which by deliberately overstepping the planning regulations raises important issues about how existing and future masterplans can or should enable on-site renewable energy generation, at a scale to achieve true zero-energy schemes."

The project is designed by C. F. Møller Architects in cooperation with Moe & Brødsgaard, Cenergia, Phillips, Schüco, Erik Juul and Vogt landscape.

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