25 Aug 2015
World innovation news
Infrastructures and Built Environment
A Home without CO2, Waste and External Energy !
Project Aktivhaus B10 authors authorized non-commercial use: Copyright Zooey Braun, Stuttgart, E-Lab Projekt GmbH
A “triple zero” home without CO2
In Stuttgart, Germany, this home is born and becomes the symbol of future’s ecological and smart construction. Named B10 after its street Bruckmannweg 10, it is the first “Active House”.
The building respond to the “triple zero” criteria: it requires no external energy, it produces zero emissions – absolutely no fossil fuels or nuclear power here. It produces zero waste – it can be taken down and recycled. Thanks to a sophisticated energy concept and an advanced control system, it produces two times more energy than it requires.
This house was created by the German architect and engineer, Werner Sobek, and produced by the company Schwäbische Alb, specializing in the construction of prefabricated wooden houses. From the beginning of the assembly at the factory, no fossil energy was used. Moreover, there was no need to use foundation and therefore it reduces the footprint.
With an area of 85 square meters (or 915 ft2), this house was built in 100% recyclable materials: wood, glass and metal. Its roof is covered with 40 photovoltaic panels producing power up to 10 kW. An accumulator of 11 kW / h stores the surplus that can be used at night, in cloudy weather or to power electric cars. In addition, one of the facades is made of three layers of ultra-thin and insulating glass to retain the heat in winter and cool in summer. If the projections are accurate, the Active House is expected to generate approximately 8,300 kilowatts per year and to use only 4,200. The surplus energy is exported to the neighboring.
Home automation to reduce energy consumption
Furthermore, this home without CO2 is equipped with an advanced home automation. Connected to the Internet, a box about the size of a domestic modem, analyzes the weather forecasts and regulates the consumption of solar energy. Snow coming? The heating is turned up. Heat wave? It is switched off. It distributes the heat in the rooms according to the needs and how long a room takes to warm up after sunrise — or to cool at night.
Furthermore, this house has no doorknob or any power switch. The intelligent box handles everything and the possibilities of the system are endless. However, the resident can decide to take control and give orders via their smartphone.
As a living lab, this efficient home has become a model to study smart buildings. The data recorded by the sensors are analyzed by the University of Stuttgart researchers and by 40 partner companies. Currently, two students live there for free to test its effectiveness.