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Dragos Fodoreanu

(230 - user rating)


The first thing that comes in mind when you say „passive house” is, most of the times, a not very good looking house. You think that it should be compact, with very thick walls and very small windows. Or maybe it should be half burried in the ground for a better use of the earth’s thermal energy. After reading the theme of the competition, i realised that the project couldn’t start from a general approach, a design concept that regards the location (this beeing a virtual one) or the neighbourhood (the local context). I started the project from the definition of the passive house and tried to apply the passive house concept to a compact, simple and contemporany design, always having in mind the question „would i be pleased to live in such a house?”. Considering those facts, i tried to reduce a home’s monotony, and create a special space, the center of the house which is actualy the soul of the building, it is „alive”, always changing and always suprising the people who live in this home. So the main ideea was to create a central, two leveled space that includes the main entrance, the vertical comunication node (the stair), a living room, a dining room and maybe a kitchen. Having a virtual location to build on, with no cardinal points predefined was an advantage, leaving us the choice of setting the building’s orientation towards the south. I prefered that most of the windows to be placed on the southern facade, so i could benefit most of the sun’s energy in the winter. In the summer time the windows are protected by horizontal sun shades, allowing the light to come in the house, but not the heat.
The structure, and the whole building construction materials approach was made considering using only wood (one of the healthiest materials, a natural material that can regenerate) and other natural materials like straws and sand/cob plaster. The main structure of the house is made out of lamelar wood (recycled wood, glued together under high pressure and temperature) on the transversal direction. On the longitudinal direction, the house’s rigidity is ensured by smaller lamelar wood beams, posistioned closed one to another. The wooden structure is fixed in the concrete foundations, and the exterior walls are realized out of compact straw bricks (40x40x40cm), those being very energy eficient. The house has an exterior wooden shell that protects the inner layers, and gives the house an „earthly” look. No special elements are needed, and the prefabrication of the wooden structure ensures a very short building time. The inner floor (the board between the ground floor and the first floor) is built also out of wooden beams and between them was put some mineral wool that ensures the fonic and thermal insulation.
Regarding the technology used for heating and ventilation, i proposed a canadian tube, a heat exchanger and an electric heating station, all those combined with floor heating system, solar cells for electric energy and solar panels for heating the water. By using the latest technology and smartly combining all the existing systems, i think that it is almost impossible not to create a passive house.