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This House in Norway Produces More Energy than It Consumes

The house is part of a pilot research project by Norway’s Research Center on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB). The purpose of the project is completely stop emission of greenhouse gas.

International architecture firm Snøhetta has partnered with ZEB to design and build this remarkable experimental house that helps move the development of very efficient buildings forward. The ZEB Pilot House is claimed to generate almost three times the amount of electricity it requires, with the significant surplus available to help run an electric car, for example.

The building has been constructed with the most advanced design, engineering and technology solutions. The roof is oriented toward south, south west or north east, which is favorable for utilization of solar energy throughout the year. Also there is a natural ventilation system that was constructed to maximize the benefits of natural daylight without overheating the room.

There’s also a firewood-heated sauna and fruit trees and vegetable gardens to enable small-scale food production.

The ZEB Pilot House was completed earlier in September and its performance will be monitored.

About ZEB

The aim of the Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB) is to promote the realization and diffusion of zero emission buildings. The goal of creating buildings that do not contribute to climate change is defined here in its most ambitious form: zero emission buildings must achieve a balanced carbon footprint throughout the course of their whole existence, including construction, operations, and demolition.

ZEB develops materials, components and building concepts, methods and tools that can help ensure that future buildings do not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime. Through its industry partners, research ZEB a unique opportunity to test out new solutions and new products.

The project has a strong focus on retaining home-like qualities through non-quantifiable properties. Emotive comfort and sense of wellbeing have governed the design process to the same extent as energy demands. The grounds employ a variety of spaces that can be enjoyed year-round, with the inclusion of fruit trees and vegetable gardens to accommodate small scale food production.
The house in the garden has a characteristic tilt towards southeast and a sloping roof surface clad with solar panels and collectors. These elements, together with geothermal energy from energy wells in the ground, will serve the energy needs of the family house and generate enough surplus to power an electric car year-round! For this to become a successful reality, architecture and technology must come together and ensure optimization of both comfort and energy use. 
Daylight, view, and contact with landscape and outdoor space is reconciled with the need for balancing sealed walls and windows. Heating and cooling is solved passively through placement of glass surfaces, orientation, house geometry and volume, and choosing materials with good thermal characteristics. 
An outdoor atrium with fireplace and furnishing opens for outdoor dining from early spring to late fall. A feeling of cabin life, in one of the world’s most advanced family houses, in a room with walls of stacked firewood and bricks. 
Materials used on interior surfaces have been chosen on the basis of their ability to contribute to good indoor climate and air quality as well as aesthetic qualities.
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