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José Guia Dipl. Arch., Pedro Martins Dipl. Arch.

(704 - user rating)

Based on the required passive housing conditions, we took into attention the location, recyclable materials, energy efficiency and affordable values.
So we choose a clean object that brings us the idea of a traditional house from Bulgaria that responds to the passive goals from this competition.


As Passive systems, we have as a reference a highly insulated building in order to create a healthier and more comfortable life for the occupants without negative impact on the climate – moving us towards a cleaner, healthier and safer world.

So we applied direct and indirect gains through the solar incidence and heating and cooling through air circulation. Following these parameters, the disposition of the house is with:
The social areas are facing south and technical areas north following the principle of utilization of solar radiation and natural illumination and thermal transfers with underground ventilation.
The house entrance has the purpose of distribute the social, private and technical areas.
All the technical areas are orientated north, we have a kitchen with dining area, a storage and machinery area (where is situated the thermal accumulator) and two bathrooms. In the social area, we have a lounge room and the access to the top floor which is a multifunctional area used as a room or an office.
As private areas oriented to south, we chose to create two single bedrooms and one suite with a dressing room and toilet.
All the areas are provided with a system of passive heating and cooling air, a Trombe wall and natural ventilation.

From outside we can see that the house has a classic gable roof in order to collect the rain waters, and the perfect inclination for photovoltaic panels (45 degrees) in order to have better profitability.
The house has rainwater harvesting tank that is fed from the house roofs and provides water for domestic purposes such as washing clothes, sanitary discharges and irrigation.

We chose to orient the greater façade to south to get more sun exposure.
The north facade only has the entry as an option to reduce exposure and loss of heat.
We applied passive systems such as Trombe wall for heating spaces, natural ventilation for air circulation and cooling.

The option to use wall system with thickness of 50/55cm is due to the need to avoid heat losses to the outside, through a better insulation.

Was used a coating system from the outside based on the accession of expanded polystyrene insulation boards type and EPS plate mechanically anchored with fasteners like “Coteterm”. It has a very low U value, making it null the transmission of heat and eliminates all thermal bridges. This continues to cover the roof of the building.
For the indoor coating we applied wooden boards due to excellent thermal capacity and because of the life cycle and the possibility of being reused. The inner wall consists of an anti-steam screen and rock wool in order to cancel heat losses.

Natural ventilation and solar gain is done directly through the openings, facing south and the skylights. We use double glazed windows to save energy and prevent heat loss in winter and cool in summer.
It significantly increases the soundproofing level inside and as a good environmental impact because the reduction of energy consumption means the reduction of CO2 Emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect.

The only concrete element of the building is the foundation that is made of high fly ash in concrete basement. It uses less intensive manufacturing process and creates fewer global warming gases then regular concrete. This byproduct of coal-fired power plants generally ends up in landfills. Concrete adding it in high volumes creates a stronger, more durable product that reduces environmental impact and is used as floor and then stroked.

We decided to use several passive systems like the cooling system through the ground; this cooling system results from the soil because the soil temperature during summer is about 16 ° C, while the air temperature may rise to 20 º C.
The air intake is made from the feed well, constructed about 15 meters from the building.
The pipes enter the building through the ground. It's used PVC pipe since there is not the problem of heat transfer.
The course of the pipe rises vertically on walls of the building making the distribution of air directly into each room.
Each room receives a ventilation pipe and its output that the user can control the opening and closing. The operation of the system largely depends on the overall thermal behavior of the building and behavior of users.