Home for LifeEdit profile
Home for Life is situated near Aarhus in Denmark. It is the world’s first Active House and is a result of a research and design development aimed at securing a necessary foothold in architecture in an anticipated sustainable and low-carbon future. Home for Life is a self-sufficient and CO2-neutral demonstration project and thanks to 7m2 solar collectors, 50m2 solar cells and a solar heat pump the house produces more energy than it consumes. With an energy surplus of 9kWh/m2/year it takes approximately 40 years for the house to generate the same amount of energy that was used to produce its building materials and at that point the house will have returned more to nature than it consumed. To secure a necessary, sustainable foothold the construction of the house consists of a timber framing above a concrete raft while the building is clad externally in slate fixed battens, the floor tiles are mosaic made from recycled glass and the windows incorporate the newest energy-saving glass technology. The window area of the house is 40 percent of the total floor area – twice the area of a traditional house – and by maximizing daylight Home for Life reduces the demand for electricity in the form of lighting as well as helping to combat the Scandinavian ailment of “winter depression`. Light and ventilation is seen as key factor and necessity to human satisfaction. To secure a healthy indoor climate the openings of the house therefore let in nature, sensors register heat, humidity and CO2 in all rooms and automatic window opening mechanisms let in fresh air while sensors turn off lights when you leave the room. Furthermore the occupants and environment of the house are valued through quantitative and qualitative monitoring, interviews and measuring. Subsequent the values are analyzed to develop knowledge to optimize the positive impact on occupants, environment and climate. In that way Home for Life demonstrates how architecture is not something to be completed, but something to be developed. It demonstrates how it is possible to develop the architecture of tomorrow. An architecture which expresses a holistic approach to sustainability by taking the social, environmental as well as climatic context into account – in other words it is an example of architecture of necessity.