Home for Life
With the Home for Life concept, VELFAC launches its own vision for the future within sustainable homes.
We consider it our responsibility to contribute to the development of new products and ways of building, and we believe, that the way forward is more than single-handed focus on insulation ability and reduction of the energy used for heating. With home for lift we want to explore the possibilities, that comes from developing the energy efficient buildings of the future in a holistic perspective. That is why we test the ideas in practice and build real houses.
One test is worth more than 1000 expert assumptions
»One test is worth more than 1000 expert assumptions«
Villum Kann Rasmussen
Therefore we are building real houses and trying things in practice. The purpose is to develop new knowledge about energy efficiency, comfort and aesthetics of future houses. The houses will therefore be tested by a family for a period of one year.
CO2 emissions shall be reduced
Scientists have confirmed that in 40 minutes, there is enough sun energy on the earth’s surface to cover the world’s energy use for a whole year; good information in a time where climate changes develops faster than until now expected. But it requires that we are able to »harvest« the sun – and on a much bigger scale develop and make use of new technologies.
The way we build and live has a large meaning for saving the environment in our everyday lives. Energy use for construction and operation of buildings in the West makes up about 40% of the total energy use – energy that is primarily based on coal and in that way is connected to high CO2 emissions. There is a large challenge in developing the future building structure in such a way that it optimizes the use of sun energy and decreases the CO2 emissions.
VKR Holding, which is the mother company for VELUX and VELFAC, has initiated the construction of eight demonstration houses in a number of European countries following the active house principle. The houses produce energy themselves and are built as examples of intelligent buildings with low energy use, a good indoor climate and an exciting architecture.
An active house contributes to a sustainable development in connection to:
- Creating balance between energy use and production.
- The life being lived in the house, indoor climate, function and health.
- Creating experiences in and around the house.
Home for Life will be ready as the first of eight active houses. The next example in Denmark will be Green Light House. The project is carried out by the Minicipality of Copenhagen, the University of Copenhagen, the Danish University and Property Agency, VELFAC and VELUX.
With humans in the centre
In the middle of 2007 when we began to develop Home for Life, we quickly agreed to start with people. Our proposal for the house of the future should not just be well insulated and self-sufficient with CO2 natural energy. It should also be pleasant to live in. With a lot of daylight and fresh air, flexiblily with space for both reflection and being together. And not least should life, light and air be reflected in the architecture of the house.
Existing know-how put together in a new way
The Home for Life has been created through 10 interdisciplinary workshops, where experts from the construction industry, research institutes, architects, engineers and other leading specialists have worked together and developed a model (opposite side), where energy, aesthetics and comfort makes up one axis and objectives and means makes up the other.
Through development, building and documentation, Home for Life demonstrates how daylight and warmth can create a balance between energy, aesthetics and comfort – with humans in the centre.
Home for Life is developed by VELFAC and VELUX in conjunction with Aart Architects and Esbensen Consulting Engineers.Other participants in the project group are: The Engineering College of Aarhus, the Alexandra Institute, Aarhus School of Architecture, Danish Building Research Institute and the Municipality of Aarhus. KFS-Boligbyg is behind the constructing of the building.
- Solar cells, solar heating and heat pump produce electricity, hot water and room heating.
- About 50% of the room heat consumption is covered by the passive sun heat from the energy optimized windows.
- Natural and mechanical ventilations as well as in- and outside sun screens ensure fresh air and a good room temperature.
- The control system for the house reduces the energy consumption and ensures a good indoor climate.
In Home for Life more energy is produced than consumed – and all energy is renewable
The energy goal for Home for Life is that the house is self-sufficient with energy. It produces more energy than consumed, and calculated according to Beat 2002, the energy for erecting the house will be paid back within a 30-50 year period.
Home for Life produces an annual energy surplus. The energy surplus is calculated at 9.4 kWh/m²/year.
The intake of daylight is optimized to reduce consumption of electric light. The window area amounts to 40% (against normal 20-25%), and the windows are placed in all 4 facades as well as on the roof to ensure a good natural light, distributed deep into all rooms. The daylight intake is modulated via simulations in VELUX Daylight Visualizer and model studies in a light lab.
In Home for Life the energy-optimized windows of the future with slim profiles are used; big light intake and good coupling and fixing possibilities, installed with 3-layer energy glass. The linings improve the linear thermal transmittance and transmit the light deep into the rooms. The house’s active facades regulate the light and heat intake. The roof overhang facing south makes shade for a high summer sun and gives access for a low winter sun. Shutters and sun blinds regulate heat, light intake and privacy when needed.
Control of the house reduces energy use
The house is managed in such a way that the use of electricity and heat is minimized. In the summer the automatically controlled natural ventilation is used for airing the rooms. During the heating season mechanical ventilation with heating recovery is used so the cold air can be heated without the use of additional energy. Intelligent controls regulate the outdoor and indoor solar screening for optimizing warmth and light intake as well as putting off the lights when the room is not in use.
Material energy is estimated in the estimation programme Beat 2002. Data has been collected for use in Beat (data processing according to UMIP method) for the components where it was possible. For other components, corrected producer’s data has been used along with data for similar components.
Energy regulation codes
Energy use in Home for Life conforms to a low energy class 1. But in contradiction to other regulation codes Home for Life produces it's own energy.
Energy use for heating in Home for Life is about 50% of the energy use in a normal newly built house following the Danish requirements for new buildings in BR2008.
Plenty of natural daylight, fresh air and good materials ensure that the house is healthy and comfortable to live in
The house of the future shall be pleasant to live in and around. It must not be too warm in the summer and not too cold in the winter. It should be flexible so that it gives space for both togetherness and for peace and quiet. And it should be easy to maintain and use.
There is a lot of fresh air in Home for Life. In the winter the air enters in via the mechanical ventilation system that at the same time ensures that the warmth from the exhaust is reused. The equipment is programmed so that it adapts to the ventilation needs in the room. The air is circulated into the »clean« rooms (bedrooms and living rooms) and exhausted from the utility rooms (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room).
In the summer fresh air enters through natural ventilation that is controlled by a sensor in the house so that it is not ventilated more than necessary and at the same time, maintains a good indoor climate. The natural ventilation replaces the mechanical system with the result of energy savings.
Room heating and cooling
The temperature in each room can be regulated independently so it adjusts to the activities in the room.
The house can shield itself from the sun in the summer time, so it is not getting too warm indoors. The screening is designed to fit the conditions of the facade and its orientation; and is automatically regulated in such a way that the inside temperature remains stable.
Home for Life is designed to make use of as much passive energy as possible. Passive energy in the form of high daylight levels, passive heat from the sun together with ventilation via thermal lift and wind influence on the facades.
The active facade
In Home for Life comfort is obtained by the help of an active facade.
An active facade:
- Regulates itself how much light and warmth comes in through the windows.
- Airs out itself, so there is always a healthy indoor climate in the house.
The active facade changes according to the seasons and needs. It can either be open to let the light and warmth in, or it can be closed to screen against the sun and maintain warmth during the night.
Life, light and air reflected in the architecture
The principal architectural idea in Home for Life is to unite single-family house requirements to experience, functionality and energy consumption in an integrated design. It is the light incidence, the active facade, the relationship between in and out and the
flexibility of the house that gives the high architectural quality.
The arrangement of the house
Home for Life is designed with good space for both togetherness and peace and quiet. Emphasis is placed on creating special places for active experiences and
flexible utilisation. The house is located on the north-west part of the lot to give the best possible space for gardens as well as utilize the height of the lot against north. The building appears as a total, sculptured building body where the carport and outbuilding are integrated. The house makes use of the zoning plan’s possibility for building in 1½ story which also contribute to optimize the view from the lot.
The choice of slate covering on the facade and roof reflects both the wish for durability, low CO2 influence and minimal maintenance, but also the wish to integrate the dark surfaces of the solar cells, the solar panels and the windows’ in a sculptural composition. The wood covering and wood flooring, with their feeling of natural warmth, give a contrast to the hardness and cold expression of the slate.
Dissolution of borders between inside and outside
In the Home for Life the borders between inside and outside are dissolved. The windows and patio doors that reach to the floor make inside and outside flow together so the room appears larger and more airy, while the windows that go completely to the ceiling together with the skylights, ensure that the daylight comes deep into the rooms.
The house is organized around a »light cross« which provides light from all four sides. The main part of the rooms in the house have windows that face in at least two directions which besides being a source of light, also functions as an exit, ventilation opening, seating recesses, work place or as a frame around a view.
The placement and the size of the windows are harmonious with the position of the sun in the sky, seasons, energy optimization and the needs of the residents in the house. The large insulation thickness and the pitch of the roof create a natural overhang facing south that provides comfortable sun screening without destroying the view. Besides this, glaring is avoided with integrated screening both inside and outside.
|Roof surfaces:||Kongebro natural slate. Gaia Solar solar cells. VELUX solar panels and roof windows.|
|Facades:||Kongebro natural slate. Dinesen Douglas- slats used as solar screening for windows. VELFAC Helo windows.|
||Kongebro natural slate. Concrete paving stones with Bornholm mosaic stone mixed.|
|Carport and multi-house:||Dinesen Douglas planks outside. White covering sheets inside.|
|Floors:||Kongebro natural slate in the kitchen/family room, entrance, utility room and in the bathroom on the main floor. Dinesen Douglas planks in the bedrooms and living room. Cast tiles of reused glass from Fliseuniverset on the 1st floor.|
|Walls and ceiling:||Generally flat white surfaces. Dinesen Douglas planks around the »core« of the main floor.|
||Cabinets from Multiform. Appliances from Siemens and Gaggenau. Faucets from Damixa.|
|Bathroom on the main floor:||Fixtures from Catalano. Kongebro natural slate on the wall in the shower. Faucets from Damixa.|
|Bathroom on the 1st floor:||Fixtures from Catalano. Mosaic tiles made of reused glass from Fliseuniverset. Faucets from Damixa.|
|Solar heat pump:||Sonnenkraft|
The active window of the future
VELFAC Helo is the window concept of the future where unique insulation properties are compatible with strength, durability, surface finish and design. The window contributes positively to the energy balance with regular 2- and 3- layer glass.
VELFAC Helo supports both the low-energy house concept by using under 15 kWh/m² and the active house concept.
The frame and sash of the window are made of a revolutionary new material – Helo-Fibre® that consists of PUR (polyurethane) strengthened with thin glass threads. VELFAC Innovation Centre tested initially more than 200 materials but did not find that the materials were capable of combining the required characteristics. Therefore VELFAC developed Helo-Fibre in conjunction with leading material suppliers in Europe and North America. The material combines for the first time, unique insulation ability with strength, durability and surface finish.
Helo-Fibre is not only particularly suitable for the production of weather resistant low energy windows in high quality; the material is distinguished by the ability to be produced with a uniform beautiful surface. On the basis of its strength the material can be used in a very slim construction and in very large sizes. This gives the possibility to develop unique high-quality windows in a beautiful design with a large unhindered daylight intake.
In 2009/2010 VELFAC Helo will be offered for sale for specially chosen low energy buildings.
The house is built of a light wood construction with load-bearing I-beams in wood and beams/joists in laminated wood. In special strained areas, steel beams are used where necessary. Stability and slice effects are obtained with the use of plywood mounted on the I-beams on the roof and outer walls. Corbels around the balcony and utility room on the 1st floor are built with laminated wood as load bearing. The corbel over the kitchen/family room is built as a steel frame.
Linear thermal transmittance
To minimize the thermal loss in the best possible way, it was necessary to think in another way regarding the fixing of the windows and doors. It means that the windows were recessed 50 mm back into the facade – and thereby farther into the insulation so that the isotherms are placed as parallel as possible throughout the construction. Furthermore the windows and doors are supplied with lining both externally and internally. In order not to let the cold into the construction, the exterior lining is made of an insulated composite material (Helo). The interior lining gives the possibility of increased insulation behind the lining.
And the last thing is the stud construction around the windows that normally lies parallel to the facade; it is changed in Home for Life so that the necessary regler for fastening are perpendicular to the facade. With this initiative the linear thermal transmittance for Home for Life is as low as 0.02 W/m²*K.
One test is worth more...
From 1 July 2009 until 30 June 2010 Home for Life will be tested. There will be a regular family of two adults and two children moving in and living their lives in the house.
Measurement of energy use and production
The one part of the test is a measurement programme that will show how much energy is used and produced in the house. In that way conditions, calculations and assumptions can be examined and subsequently validated. The Engineering College of Aarhus is responsible for the measuring.
The second part deals with the integrated control. Intelligent control of the house is necessary to reduce the energy use and increase the comfort together with using the windows as best as possible as sources of light and ventilation openings. Therefore VELFAC has begun cooperation with The Engineering College of Aarhus and the Alexandra Institute with Home for Life as a case. The cooperation has developed into a research project called »Minimum configuration - Home Automation«. The project shall develop and test strategies for the configuration of intelligent operation in the house via user innovation. The purpose of the project is to develop and collect ideas for how cordless operations can be both useful and relevant for users. It shall give the residents a complete entry to operation possibilities of light, heat and energy use as well as consumption data.
Intelligent operation of Home for Life
|The following elements in Home for Life are operated automatically but can be manually overridden by remote control:||Additional operations:||A part of the operation shall be developed together with the users, such as:|
|Windows on the roof and facade.
||Inside curtain on the facade is operated by pushing a switch.||Time of moving sensors in connection with lighting.|
|Outside sun screening on the roof and facade.
||Lights operated by pushing a switch and by moving sensors on the ceiling/wall (automatic).||Standard temperature in the different rooms.|
|Inside blind on the roof.||
Heating operated by room sensors on the wall
|Opening/closing times for windows.|
|Mechanical ventilation operated by room sensors on the wall (measures CO², humidity and temperature).|
The 2 designers Rikke Frost and Birgit Tarp have decorated Home for Life with Urban Nature as the main theme. The idea was to combine aesthetic design, eco friendliness and harmony, which create positive surprises and wellbeing for both children and adults. Futuristic designs and the general simple combination of soft nature inspired colours welcome the guests of the house. The round table and the spectacular pendant emphasizes the open and bright kitchen space, while the living room is decorated in a sensuous and comfortable way with a special designed carpet for Home for Life created by Rikke Frost and Birgit Tarp. The office on the first floor takes priority in the importance of the conversation and meeting culture. The specially designed table that places people in the most natural way towards each other is the main piece of furniture. With all the terraces and open outdoor spaces in general, the designers found the organic shaped outdoor furniture perfect in contrast to the straight lined architecture.
Overall the felt, paper, bamboo and eco textile in the decoration, furniture and accessories contributes to the focus on an eco friendly environment, and give Home for Life a clear and new experience of Urban Nature for both guests and future global settlers.
a. Raun couch raun.com
b. Woodnotes bag chair, wall deko etc. woodnotes.fi
c. Montana shelwes montana.dk
d. Aksel Kjersgaard coffee tables ak.dk
e. Gubi chairs gubi.dk
f. Naver dining table navercollection.dk
g. Zigzign pillows lenefrantzen.dk
h. Ikea stools and deko ikea.dk
i. Bolia mirror bolia.dk
j. Muuto dots muuto.com
k. Jysk mattress jysk.dk
l. Hay cph bedside tables hay.dk
m. We-do-wood children furniture wedowood.dk
n. By urup bag chair, pillows, etc. byurup.dk
o. Ferm children wallsticker ferm-living.com
p. Ribu Zesty table ribu.dk
q. Sika Hoersnaes Olympia outdoor furniture sika-hoersnaes.com
r. Cane Line outdoor furniture cane-line.com
s. Floradania plants floradania.dk
t. Grama design pots gramadesign.dk
u. Louis Poulsen lamps louispoulsen.com
v. Ege carpets ege.dk