Passive 110 is a highly energy-efficient and almost zero-consumption house based on the EnerPHit standard. We presented the technical project to you a few months ago. In addition to being a passive house, this home has been completely redesigned in order to create great flexibility and a warm interior.
Stefania Rendinelli, Passive110’s project manager, explains its key aspects.
All photos courtesy of Imagen Subliminal.
In this house, the kitchen, which has magnificent views of the city of Madrid, connects visually and physically with the dining room, living room, and a guest room with an office, generating a continuous yet divisible space. Does this organization reflect the specific lifestyle of its inhabitants?
This is a family that spends a lot of time together, doing different tasks. The integration of the different spaces in the house, together with the flexibility of the layout, allows the family to develop their activities in the house jointly, but at the same time individually. Fixed furniture has been used as an organizing element of the space, maintaining a physical and visual connection between rooms and to the outside.
A pivoting partition separates the dining room from an office area. In the case of receiving guests it can be completely closed and create an independent room. Alternatively, the room can be opened completely and the dining room can be enlarged for a dinner with more guests.
Also the girls’ rooms with its shelves and sliding doors can generate three independent spaces. This way it adjusts to the needs of the users.
How have the materials and details of the house been designed?
Special attention has been paid to materials that are free of volatile particles, such as ecological paint and solvent-free floor glue. On an aesthetic level, warmth has been sought. Wood matches the ceramic floor of the kitchen and dining room.
The construction details help us to make the architectural concept of the house work. For example, the shelves below the false ceilings connect areas and, at the same time, frame the separation of the spaces.
What spaces and furniture are most unique?
The kitchen is the heart of the house. Overlooking the north of Madrid and connected to the other rooms, it is the centre of family life. It has been designed with a large articulated island that organizes the space in different areas for cooking, breakfast, picking up or working.
In terms of domotics, Casambi system lights have been installed, which can be controlled by mobile phone or by wireless switches, thus guaranteeing flexibility in the spaces as well on this level.
Why does this house feel more comfortable after the renovation?
The house is more comfortable all year round. It is well insulated both acoustically and thermally, protected from the outside weather and from noise. It is a home free of condensation, which can cause mould. And has a high quality of indoor air, even if it is in the city centre. This is achieved through a highly energy-efficient mechanical ventilation system.
What are the architectural works that must be carried out to improve energy efficiency in an EnerPHit certified home?
The first step is to redefine the home’s envelope. In this case, this is done from the inside, by providing the necessary amount of insulation to reduce the demand for heating and cooling and, above all, by giving it continuity. The second step is to limit all air infiltration from the outside. This is accomplished by creating a layer of continuous sealing throughout the house and by choosing certified or highly sealed windows. The third step consists in installing a ventilation machine with heat recovery, which allows constant air renewal and high quality of indoor air.
As well as being perceived qualitatively, an EnerPHit renovation is reflected in energy consumption. What are the minimum requirements set by the standard and therefore met by every EnerPHit home?
Firstly, in every EnerPHit house, the annual heating demand is regulated to a maximum. The total primary energy demand is also limited.
On the other hand, the frequency of excessive internal temperature (above 25°C) that may occur in the house should not exceed 10% of the time. The air renewals per hour are also regulated. This is guaranteed by the supervision of an external company that carries out a blower door test.
So, what has been the most complicated element to solve or design in terms of the Passive aspect of this house?
The most difficult part has been to adapt the project after the demolition. The actions and details foreseen in the project have had to be updated every time new existing elements were discovered (windows, roof slabs, cracks in floor slabs…).
Why can we consider this project to be cutting-edge?
There are currently few house renovations of this kind in Spain. We believe that it is a bet for the future since the regulations increasingly raise the demands for energy savings. At the same time, the cost of energy is increasing.
Applying the EnerPHit standard guarantees compliance with the energy saving regulations with lower values than those required. It also certifies that the airtightness and the entire enclosure have been carried out correctly. Renovations of this type could be the solution to improve existing buildings generating more sustainable urban models.