The ZEB Pilot House by Snøhetta

For this to become a successful reality, architecture and technology must come together and ensure optimization of both comfort and energy use. A breakfast spot on the eastern side with a view to neighbouring farmland is paved with recycled timber blocks, creating an inviting surface. Focus on carbon emissions associated with building materials represents a new direction in the vital drive toward a sustainable construction industry. Characteristic tilt to the southeast
The house in the garden has a characteristic tilt towards southeast and a sloping roof surface clad with solar panels and collectors. Emotive comfort and sense of well being have governed the design process to the same extent as energy demands. New tools are put to use, the academic disciplines work closer together, and the requirements for documentation are more demanding than ever. The project has a strong focus on retaining home-like qualities through non-quantifiable properties. Heating and cooling is solved passively through placement of glass surfaces, orientation, house geometry and volume, and choosing materials with good thermal characteristics. Renewable energy production via photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels integrated in the building envelope enables offsetting of carbon emissions generated by the burning of fossil fuels in power stations. A feeling of cabin life, in one of the world’s most advanced family houses, in a room with walls of stacked firewood and bricks. The ZEB Multi-Comfort House is a cooperation between Snøhetta, Scandinavia’s largest independent research body SINTEF, ZEB partner Brødrene Dahl, and Optimera. The design of such an ambitious environmental project is driven by knowledge of new technologies, local energy sources, materials and building techniques, and other resources at location, as well as intelligent placement   and orientation in a way that facilitates optimal utilization of energy resources.   In particular, the high focus on choice of material in early development phases is new, and it generates innovative design processes on a multidisciplinary level. By offsetting in this manner we reduce emission of other greenhouse gasses simultaneously. To achieve ZEB-OM classification the project is required to document and verify a minimum of 100% CO2 offsetting. Daylight, view, and contact with landscape and outdoor space is reconciled with the need for balancing sealed walls and windows. Materials used on interior surfaces have been chosen on the basis of their ability to contribute to good indoor climate and air quality as well as aesthetic qualities. The   grounds employ a variety of spaces that can be enjoyed year-round, with the inclusion of fruit trees and vegetable gardens to accommodate small scale food production.

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