AONI DE HAUS is the first certified energy retrofit project of a three-direction enclosed courtyard house built of wood and rammed earth with passive house components. After the retrofit, Old AONI DE HAUS has an excellent performance in moisture proof, airtightness, as well as thermal and sound insulation. And its indoor thermal comfort has a constant temperature, humidity and oxygen content that the temperature is kept between 20-25 °C and the humidity is 40-60%, airtightness n50≤0.6/ h. The courtyard house, which is retrofitted according to the EnerPHit of the Passive House Institute (PHI), is a demonstration project that appears in Chinese rural areas but exceeds the urban conventional buildings.


Building energy consumption and thermal comfort have always been a problem hindering the renewal and utilization of old houses as well as the development of rural areas in southern non-heating areas with hot humid summers and cold humid winters. The retrofit project of AONI DE HAUS is just developed closely around the problem that introduced a modern standard into Chinese traditional dwellings for the first time. It has quantified the potential of rammed earth wall and wood structure as well as courtyard spatial layout in building energy consumption, at the same time optimized the thermal performance of renewed construction practices in building envelope based on traditional construction technology. The annual heating energy consumption of AONI DE HAUS meets the EnerPHit Standard for certified energy retrofits with passive house components of the Passive House Institute (PHI).


The predecessor of AONI DE HAUS was an abandoned one-hundred-year-old vernacular dwelling built in the late Qing Dynasty, which covers an area of ca. 420 square meters. The courtyard house is located in the city of Lishui in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, eastern longitude 119.43 degrees, northern latitude 28.29 degrees, altitude 236.28 meters, where belongs to hot summer and cold winter areas in China’s architectural climate regionalization. In nearly one year on-site working with master carpenters by drawings, sketches and models, the specific application of new materials and practices in AONI DE HAUS has been optimized to extend the life of the main structure and improve the indoor thermal comfort to the contemporary living standard.

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