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March 16, 2016

Future Active House in Stjørdal

Built in 2012 as a single-family house in Stjørdal with the footprint of 165 m2 with wooden frame construction with natural ventilation. Automatically controlled roof windows and four facade windows with sunscreens prevent overheating on hot days and heat loss in colder times. User-friendly control of the indoor climate through touch panels and LED lighting. Thick insulation is installed in roof, walls and floor. Low-emission wood stove and fire insert contribute to the heating. Furthermore, there is extensive use of wood and renewable materials. And the house is equipped with solar collectors with an area of 18,5 m2.

dl Future Active House Norway (link here)

Information about Future Active House.

Future Active House seeks to meet the challenges to make demands of modern life meet the need for protection of the environment, to make advanced technology integrated with good living conditions and closeness to nature. Based on the Active House principles, the building is designed to be both a showcase of innovative solutions as well as a modern family home. Good air quality creates an immediate sense of well-being. The Active House principles recommend a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation to achieve good indoor air quality.

However, ventilation and the consequent heating of fresh, cold air can require large amounts of energy. Future Active House seeks to overcome this problem by introducing several energy-saving technologies. It is possible to allow fresh air to produce an indoor climate that is pleasant and healthy, at the same time as keeping energy loss to a minimum. In the winter, mechanical ventilation will take fresh outdoor air into the house and preheat it in a heat exchanger (using a heat recovery system), thereby reducing the energy required for warming cold air. During summer natural ventilation ensures that the house is cooled and fresh air supplied in a way that significantly reduces the demand for electric fans. Furthermore, openable windows are appreciated by most users in the warm part of the year.

The document describes the vision for the future active house, including architecture in Nordic and solution as low energy and high-performance building. Furthermore are defined Active house criteria, energy as half the consumption of a typical house, ventilation to stay fresh and keep warm, putting the air work the natural ventilation, control systems as hands-on solution,  daylight to let the sun inside including daylight factor consideration, materials and products used to build the house, a crucial quality to achieve a healthy indoor climate, flexible simplicity for interior design, black and bright exterior of a building, local solutions for environment qualities, two years of monitoring to confirm the performance and future active house projects.

dl Life cycle assessment  of an Active House (link here)

Thesis by Agneta Ghose from NTNU, June 2012 about sustainability concepts by integrating energy, environment and well-being.

The Active house in Stjørdal, Norway, is a prototype of a green building. This is a single-family residence which is built with a concept of solar architecture in ultra low-energy buildings. It is challenging to harness solar energy at high latitudes. The Active house uses the fundamental construction details for a Passive house as mentioned in Norwegian regulatory standard, with specific changes in increasing the glazed surface to promote passive solar heat gain as well as increase daylighting, but also making it vulnerable to heat loss.

Active house qualifies as a low-energy house which requires 10% more material input than an equivalent Passive house. However, the delivered energy from renewable sources helps in reducing environmental impact by 15% than a basic Passive house. Using renewable sources of energy does not entirely diminish the dependence of direct energy supply from the grid but creates the benefit of partial sufficiency for additional energy demand for necessities other than space heating. Apart from the use of renewable, this project also focuses on the need for standardised certification of buildings which monitor the pre-design as well as post-construction. The certification method is an approach for all the stakeholders of the building to be participative in the best function of the building. A practical design, resident well-being, as well as user awareness, can positively influence the building.

Active House Guidelines (link here)

If you would like to read more about active houses and how to design them, where you can also find more examples of built active houses in the world.

“Is “Active House” just another certification scheme?” (link here)

Read an article written about the certification scheme, published at Swegon Air Academy.