Is this Norway’s smartest house?

By 2020, all new Norwegian homes will be on a savings bank.

Is this Norway's smartest house?

Is this Norway's smartest house?

– As an architect, I think it’s fascinating that with the help of simple construction technology, we can help reduce our energy consumption drastically, “says architect Carl Henrik Graff in Track Architects.. Photo: Track Architects

As evolving in Europe, a wave of environmentally friendly and energy-friendly homes blows across the fathers country. Tree houses without nails and glue are one thing, but even stronger will the focus on passive houses be in the future.

– Your next new house will certainly be a passive house. The goal of the government is that all Norwegian homes by 2020 should be built according to this energy-saving passive housing standard.

They spend only 25 percent of the energy used by today’s traditional housing stock, says chain manager Raymond Myrland in the developer Mesterhus to

Passive measures give big gains

The reason why this type of house is called a passive house is that they use preventive technical, non-saving measures such as extra insulation, extra density and heat recovery, says Myrland.

Award-winning for innovation

From July 2010 energy labeling of homes was introduced. The seventeen houses in Rudshagen receive energy literacy A. This is the highest grade such a house can get – and the project we show here has already been awarded the award of the Association of Home Manufacturers.

Many good reasons

– There is good reason to take the passive housing effort seriously, Myrland believes. The energy to operate all Norwegian buildings accounts for forty percent of the country’s total energy consumption. And private homes are the largest group of houses we have, and it has so far increased the most in their energy consumption.

Is this Norway's smartest house?

Overview of the seventeen passive houses Rudshagen Borettslag Mortensrud OBOS. This is the first field of passive housing in Oslo. The properties are located in three groups and with terraces and balconies to the west. Photo: ILLUSTRATION: Track Architects

The pioneering efforts

Is this Norway's smartest house?

KUBE IS BEST: The cube shape is both area and energy efficient. Here’s a sketch of one of the seventy OBOS houses. They have a utility area of ​​116 sqm and a total net energy requirement of between 80 and 90 kWh / sqm per square meter. Years including hot water and lighting. Photo: ILLUSTRATION: Track Architects

Is this Norway's smartest house?

PASSIVE HOUSE IN PLACE: What does it look like at Rudshagen housing company at Mortensrud in the summer of 2011. No one can see that this is a passive housing with 40 cm thick insulation in outer walls and floor and 50 cm insulation in ceiling. Photo: Espen Gees

Is this Norway's smartest house?

– The Passive Houses have some incredible features and the Rudshagen project gave us many useful experiences, “says Mesterhus Norway, Norway’s Board of Directors Raymond Myrland. He states that the passive houses must still be developed and the owners must learn to take care of these houses, and not least the filters in the balanced fan and ventilation system. Photo: Mesterhus

Both scientists and architects calculate passive houses as the most environmentally friendly and artistic individual measures that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, architect Carl H H. Graff in Track Architects to

Does not require district heating

Track developed Rudshagen houses together with architect Hans Dahl in OBOS, and he enlightens Enova. no that the energy requirements in these homes will be so low that district heating is not beneficial.

Sustainable housing

In addition to the private economic benefits, a successful passive housing initiative will also make us less dependent on fossil fuels. This is beneficial in the event of an international energy crisis, says architect Carl H. Graff.

Cubic is perfect

– The core of the project is that we cultivated the cubic housing form. It reduces the area of ​​exterior walls and ceilings, which is optimal for passive houses. The cube shape minimizes heat loss while making the building area efficient, says Graff in an email to

Is this Norway’s most environmentally friendly house?

Several Norwegian architects have taken the initiative to build a passive house. One of them is architect Stein Stoknes, Project Manager in Futurebuildt. It is located on Skøyen in Oslo and is referred to as the capital’s first passive house, and is considered by many as one of the king’s most environmentally friendly homes. Here the wall thickness is 52 cm and the house is without cold bridges.

Just good experiences

– We have lived in this house for two years and only have positive experiences. All I’m having trouble with is the collector, says the builder to

Hope for most

Stoknes believes that passive houses will come in many forms and sizes – and it is possible to create passive housing standards of the existing housing stock as well. You can even get up with an old Swiss house, he claims.

Are the passive houses around the corner?

Research director Kim Robert Lisøe in Sintef Building Research says to Bonytt. no that passivhus standard can and should be introduced by 2015.

In order to achieve this, it is important to provide comprehensive information work, in addition to developing skills, technology and products.

Passive House is competitive on price

– There are essentially two types of builders we meet. Someone who does not really know how to save energy, and another group interested in environmentally friendly, future-oriented housing, says senior researcher Anne Gunnarshaug Nilsen in Sintef Building Research to Bonytt. no.

– And the last ask if the passive house is more expensive to build than a traditionally built house. Until the answer is that this depends what you compare with. If you compare with a new, traditional house with heating based on groundwater heat pump and water-borne heat on all floors, it’s possible that the passive house comes out the least, says the expert..

Accidental Energy Losses

The other people wonder if your passive house is not too dense.

– To put it right, the passive houses are made tight to save energy, but they have both a ventilation system that changes the air continuously and windows that can be opened. The big clouet of passive houses is the fact that they exclude random energy losses, says Gunnarshaug Lien.

Tromsø, Melhus and the smoke goes on the front

There are already passive houses in the Tromsø area and the ready-made supplier Norgeshus is currently traveling a pioneer passive residence at Melhus near Trondheim. And in Røyken is the country’s largest building area with 29 passive houses detached houses under construction.

What is a passive house?

On questions about what a passive house really is, researchers in Sintef Building Research Tore Wigenstad Aftenposten gave the following definition:

– The Passion House is a house that does not need an active heating system. It is simply as well insulated with thick walls, thick ceilings and good windows that it does not have to be heated at all. The house must be completely sealed.

Passive. No also has clear explanations of what passive houses are.

Ventilation in pipes instead of window air

The expert stressed that new fresh air is pumped into the housing through a ventilation system instead of as before; through dragging windows and walls. This solution provides a fit high and even indoor temperature.

Shielding from the sun

The disadvantage is that passive houses can be in warmest warehouses on hot summer days. Then it’s good if the house has the possibility of good ventilation, ventilation – and not least an effective solar shielding, Wigenstad concluded.

Three myths about the passive house

Following the construction industry conference Passive House 2011 with hundreds of participants, editors Kristian Owren in the Color Magazine summarized some of the myths associated with the passive house:

Myth 1. Passive houses get too hot in summer.

Super insulation, very good airtightness and high efficiency heat recovery have no effect on the summer comfort of the house.. The important thing is to place windows so that they provide effective ventilation. It may also be advantageous with thermal mass, such as a concrete wall.

Myth 2. It is too complicated to build passive houses.

Passive houses are no more complicated than other houses. The challenge lies in following the descriptions of those who have projected the residence. In other words, the Passive House imposes greater demands on the construction work being carried out correctly.

Myth 3. Passive houses are too expensive to build – and what about older buildings?

It’s not expensive to build passive houses, it’s a profitable investment that will pay off over time, experts claim.

And Enova supports both conversion of older buildings to passive housing standards and to the introduction of new passive houses.

According to Tor Helge Dokka in SINTEF, one can expect a mark of NOK 1000 per square meter. for apartment complex and commercial buildings – and more for detached houses.

Are passive houses the best solution?

As the Passive House Wave grows, critical voices have emerged.

Among other things, the Gaia architect group has been working for environmentally friendly homes for a number of years, asking the Passive House as a single standard.

– We believe the Passive House is not the only viable way to go towards environmentally friendly homes. Relying on just this one type of house can lead to rigid and authoritarian regulations on the construction industry’s premises, which in turn can block other ways of thinking about low-energy buildings, “says architect Rolf Jacobsen of Gaia Architects for

– We would like to point out that there is still some uncertainty associated with the quality of the indoor climate in the passive houses.

See more about Passive Houses in the Norwegian Passive House Standard and International Passive House Base.

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