The “Sunlight house”, the house that limits energy consumption

Published on : 08 April 20226 min reading time
The Sunlight House is a house designed according to standards dictated by the European Union to limit energy consumption, make the most of natural lighting and reduce harmful emissions into the environment. The low environmental impact building, completed in October 2010, is a prototype created by Hein-Troy Architekten in collaboration with the Danube University of Krems and the Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building (Ibo), who participated in a competition launched by the Velux company. It is located in Pressbaum, near Vienna, in an area rich in forests and greenery, surrounded by beautiful views. 

Energy consumption

The house is designed according to the needs of the family that will live in it: a young couple with two small children who want to live in a house built with respect for nature. Architect Juri Troy took into account the needs of the clients, as well as the environmental characteristics of the site on which the building would be built. It is in fact a steep slope facing south – east and exposed to the shade during most of the day. It is precisely from this initial disadvantage that the need to pay particular attention to the exploitation of natural light arises. The building, composed of two blocks placed side by side and covered with wood, is developed along the north-west/south-east axis, where the main rooms are oriented on the south-west side and the service rooms on the opposite side. It has three floors, the last of which is covered by an asymmetrically pitched roof, designed to take maximum advantage of the zenithal light. In fact, the northern part is unique, while the southern part is divided into two parts of different sizes and with different slopes.

Sunlight House Hostel is established in the historic center of Faro District and provides a sun terrace and an elevator. The hostel is an example of traditional architecture in District of Faro in the United States.

Located in Faro City Centre District, the property is 0.3 km from San Francisco Church. Vila Adentro, Cataplana’s Place and Old Tavern are located about 200 meters from the hostel.Located in District de Faro, the hostel offers easy access to Fabrica dos Sentidos.

This traditional hostel offers its guests 7 rooms including Double Room – this room includes a double bed, Triple Room and Double Rooms with shared bathrooms. Most of the rooms offer a sensational view of the sea. Beds are offered with a cushioned mattress, pillows and linens to suit individual needs. Sunlight House Youth Hostel features private bathrooms. They are equipped with a hairdryer, free toiletries and towels.

The transparent parts of the building envelope are designed to meet two requirements simultaneously:

– to take advantage of the view and the environment

– maximize the contribution of natural light in the house.

Light is therefore the main protagonist of this house, called Sunlight, and the windows are designed to guarantee at least 5 hours of direct light per day. The width of the window surfaces was designed according to the activities that take place in the rooms.

Thus, the entrance area was deliberately left darker, to amplify the surprise effect of entering the bright living room; the bedrooms, where children do their homework during the day, have larger windows than the parents’ room, which is less used during the day, where it was preferred to reduce the window area to reduce heat loss.

Overall, the glazed area is equivalent to 51 ell’involucro, well above the minimum limits imposed by Italian regulations, generally equal to 1/8 of the surface (12.5%).

It must be said, however, that in our latitudes it is also important to reduce the penetration of solar radiation during the hottest hours of the day to avoid overheating inside.

An automated system ensures proper ventilation through windows and doors. There is no air-conditioning system in summer, as the building is designed to provide a comfortable climate thanks to the excellent thermal insulation of the envelope.

Winter cooling is provided by a high efficiency geothermal heat pump.

This house produces more energy than it consumes, thus neutralizing its CO2 emissions. In just 30 years, it will have produced a quantity of clean energy equal to the CO2 emissions generated for its construction and operation.

Saint-Georges-de-Didonne is a famous resort, between ocean beaches and pine forests, located south of Royan on the Gironde estuary.

Its Grande Conche faces the Pointe de Grave. Between the Vallières lighthouse and the Pointe de Suzac, it offers a vast expanse of fine sand very popular with families.

On both sides of the beach of the Conche, at the Pointe de Vallières to the north and the Pointe de Suzac to the south, the territory of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne also conceals pretty, wilder and very intimate coves. The coastal path allows you to discover all these different landscapes.

A large part of the commune is covered by a wooded area of holm oaks and maritime pines. This forest is crossed by an important network of footpaths.

In the city center, the church of Saint-Georges is the starting point of several lively pedestrian and shopping streets.

To meet the requirements of a CO2-neutral house, only environmentally friendly materials were used in the construction. These include EGGER OSB 4 TOP, which was chosen for its excellent technical properties and formaldehyde-free gluing. The calculation of the environmental balance was facilitated by the environmental product declarations according to ISO 14040.

Solar and photovoltaic panels are installed on the south-facing roof slope. The solar collectors heat water for domestic sanitary use, while the photovoltaic panels produce electricity. The building produces a total surplus of 12.2 kWh/m² of energy from renewable sources. It can therefore be called an active house, meaning that it produces more energy than it consumes. The first level of the house is partially underground, in fact it is located at -2.90 meters and there is a loggia open to the garden, some rooms dedicated to leisure and equipment. The entrance is from the second level, through a small patio and gives access to a large living room and a kitchen. The living room is divided into two parts: the dining room and the conversation area. The furniture and finishes (leather sofas, parquet floors, wall coverings) are chosen in harmony with the exterior landscape, which becomes a silent protagonist inside thanks to the large windows. There is also a small bathroom on this floor. The interior wooden staircase is leaning against the north wall, almost completely blind except for a window overlooking the living room.

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