Anastas Ivanov Dipl. Arch.

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Comfortable, Spacious and Beautiful! What could this be?

Introduction: The house is situated in village Lozen, Sofia municipality. Ground level ±0,00 is equal to horizontal 750m geographical longitude. Geographical latitude is approximately 43 LAT. Accessed by car or foot from the district street. The property has its own parking slot. The spaces are grouped functionally, hence divided in separate floors. The ground floor is determined as DAY group: main entrance, living room and kitchen, study area which can be transformed to guest room. Lavatory, technical and storage facilities. On the second floor “NIGHT” group, there are two bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and closets.

Passive green building criteria’s

1. Reasonable usage of energy. Standard for passive houses:

• Annual energy usage for heating and ventilation ≤ 15 kWh/m2/year

• Total energy consumption of building covering all the needs less than ≤ 120 kWh/m2/year

• Air proof ≤ 0.6 ACH @ 50 pascal pressure

• Lack of thermo bridges ≤ 0.01 W/mK

2. Reasonable usage of water

3. Reasonable use of materials

Main idea: As the building is located in the temperate climate zone (with presence of four seasons), the main requirement which was set up from the beginning for the design of the building was to have sufficient sunlight for winter periods and on the other hand sufficient shade for summer periods. A requirement which needs to incorporate two opposite features. We took a very detailed look at our surrounded world and from it we got the needed inspiration. We named it “THE EYE HOUSE”.

The human eye is one of the most complicated organ in our body. It’s amazing to see that such a little parts, has so many different working elements. It has an almost sphere shape with 24 mm diameter. Each eyeball has six eye muscles who make its movements, eyelid and lashes to protect the eye from mechanical and light effects, a gentle conjunctive covering the visible part of the eyeball. The eye is like a camera. The light passes through the cornea, a clear cover which is like the glass opening of the camera . The amount of light which passes through is controlled by the pupil which opens and closes like the blend.

Similar to the eye function, the house elements create the needed conditions for comfort, space and convenience. The movements of the six eye muscles are replaced by the dynamic change of the weather conditions due to different seasons. Summer –hot weather, the house is in a maximum shade and direct sunlight to “THE EYE” is minimized. During spring and autumn “THE EYE” is half open for sunlight and in winter it has most sunlight. The conjunctiva is replaced with a thermal insulation on the external wall surfaces with adjusted width. Opening of the windows are on the middle horizontal axis.


Eye lashes are the needed sun shading elements who help regulation of the sun for the season. Eyelids are the areas on which the photo and solar systems are installed. By those we obtain the needed energy for hot water as well as the ventilation and circulation pump for the heating. In order to increase the effect of the sunshine in winter, the building:

1. Is oriented based on the geographical directions.

2. The inclination of the south walls is adjusted to the sun angular in winter, so that the sunray is perpendicular to the surface.

3. The southern façade is totally in windows and all the main rooms are oriented towards south.

4. The incline of the sun protecting elements chosen to be in parallel to the sunrays in winter.

5. The form of the building is an approximate hemisphere.

Research show that hemisphere has the best proportion between the scope of a body and the its external surface (area by which we lose heat). Cylinder, pyramid and cubicle come after it.

Building technique: In order to reduce the heat loss, a heat exchanger is taken into consideration. It functions as a heat conversion between the outside fresh air and internal air. In order to increase it’s efficiency, the air is heated in advance to the temperature of the ground at the same season. Hot water is obtained by solar collectors. The idea behind this is that during intensive sunshine the fluid inside the solar system is heated. At the same time the photo-voltaic panels produce the needed electricity for the circulation of the fluid and injection of fresh air in the rooms. We obtain and use as much as needed energy. Additional final regulation of the water temperature and the heating of the rooms, can be made by electricity and heater. The household appliances should be from class with minimal usage of electric energy.

On a global aspect the problem with drinking water is increasing, hence it’s logical to pay more attention to this precious resource. In the project we have considered re-usage of rain water (bathing and washing) as well as grey water (toilets) for household water use which does not need drinking water characteristics. The obtained water is stored in underground basins in order to avoid freezing in winter.

Used materials and
constructional schemes.
All the materials used in the building are natural materials. Which does cover the idea of having a building from totally recyclable materials. Wood is mainly used for the roof, part of the walls and floors. Steel and aluminum for windows and some specific elements of the construction. For heat isolation we used mineral wool. The constructive elements of the ceiling and façade are part of elements with the most economic usage of materials. The roof is a segment of a sphere and the facades are part of cylinder.

Construction details:

Property size: 1’546 m²

Green space: 1’440 m²

Builtup area of the building (first floor): 111 m²

Total builtup area: 191 m²

Rooms: 5 rooms

Number of habitants: family of 4-5 members

Parking: 2 parking slots in the property

The high percent of green space is achieved by the green roof of the building. During the landscape planting, widespread regional (geographical width 430) plants are use. The trees are mainly deciduous. The aim of having them is to have the most natural shadow in summer and to avoid the land to get over heated in simmer and during winter once the leaves have fallen to have more sunlight.

All the materials, landscape and trees, installations and building elements are used in the project, with an idea to take a look in to the future.

Comfortable, spacious and beautiful! What could it be ? No this is not the passive green house of the future. This is the idea of tomorrow, where we would like us and our children to live in a better world. The idea to leave as heritage to the next generations a basis they can built further on. Thought and beauty in the imagination, on which we should not put borders and stereotypes.

BG - Sofia 2012, arch.Anastas Ivanov