German environmental living

Tom
Thursday 08 Dec 2011

Family of four to be invited into first fully functional Energy-Surplus House, in Berlin


German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on hand yesterday, to mark the presentation of Berlins’ first fully functional Energy-Surplus House. As part of its building and electric mobility research, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development created the project as a ‘showcase’ for joint innovative developments in building and vehicle technologies.

The 130 sq. m. 3-bedroom structure aims to allow the comfortable abode of a single-family, and attains its accolade from sophisticated eco-friendly energy systems. Allowing for an excess of power to be created, via renewable methods, photovoltaic cells and heat pumps have been incorporated into the building’s design. This popular solar technology will be fitted to the roof, and the south-facing wall, producing more than 16,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. The ‘energy plus house’ generates twice as much energy as it consumes, allowing for carbon-friendly electricity to be put to alternative means. The surplus electricity generated by the house can be fed into the grid, or else stored in high-capacity batteries, to be used for charging electric vehicles.

Once dismantled, all 100% of the house’s materials can be recycled. The facade is formed out of a modern fusion of metal and glass, an admittedly popular feature of 21st century architecture. The latter material is used to create an expansive fully-transparent wall, allowing an influx of natural light into much of the interior spaces, as well as inviting public inspection.

The habitable construct will be used, scientifically tested and publicly displayed in a real-world setting for two years. Starting from 2012, a family of four will be invited to live within its confines for a rent-free 15-month period, chronicling their experiences. They will have some private areas and a private terrace on the west side.

"This house is an excellent example of how innovative advances can be linked to what people need in everyday life one step at a time," Merkel said at the opening of the thickly insulated structure. "There's a lot of potential in this area. I think this is an example of how people will be living in the future."

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team
Jobs
  • Town Planning Manager | Housebuilder in Surrey | 3+ years' PQE

    Are you a Town Planner with some commercial experience under your belt (consultancy or developer)? Would you like to work for a regional housebuild...
    • Lewis Davey
    • Surrey - near M25/M23 junction
  • Principal Planning Consultant (Policy)

    This is a career opportunity for somebody looking to play a key role in the delivery of an effective and efficient planning policy service.
    • Capita
    • Manchester/Salford (North West) or Breckland or North Tyneside or Barnet (North London)
  • Senior Planning Officer

    A vacancy has arisen in the Development Management Section of the Planning Services Division for a part-time Senior Planning Officer.
    • South Derbyshire District Council
    • Derbyshire
  • Planning Officers

    Work as key members of the Councils development management service providing pre-application advice, dealing with applications and appeals.
    • Chiltern and South Bucks Council
    • Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • Enforcement Officer - Hertfordshire

    A Local Authority in Hertfordshire are looking for an Enforcement Officer to assist them with a backlog of cases for an initial contract of 3-6 months
    • Oyster Partnership
    • Hertfordshire