In 2009 I decided to build myself a house that will produce more energy than it will use. Mainly because I lived in Groningen, the area in The Netherlands that suffers from earthquakes by means of the “natural” gas winning, and because I saw what this means for the all-day life of the people there.
Above this my house should be more than just a negative energy bill, it should be a house that gives me the feeling of “springtime, every day of the year’.
The house was completed in 2012 (by German company Schwörerhaus, prefab within 20 days!) and only later I found out that I built myself an Active House.
After 4 years we can fully state that our house does what we dreamed of: giving us the comfort of springtime, every day of the year.
Comfort: We don’t use any cooling in summer (we don’t need to), we only do this by night ventilation.
Energy: The passive house walls of 40 cm thick and very high level of airtightness (< 0,15) reduces the heatless enormously. The water/water heat pump in combination with very low floor heating (26ºC in, 22ºC out) gives a COP of >6. Our heat pump is out of operation from April till end of October, the sun provides us with enough tap water in summer months.
The 42 Solar modules produce 10.000 kWh/jr, and we only need with 5 persons 5000 of it for this all-electric house (there is not yet EV, but still with our 12.000 km per year by car, we will be “in the plus”. We participate in an local wind turbine (5 km distance) for bridging the coldest weeks of the year. We sell our 5 MWh/yr to our local energy cooperation.
Environment: We have chosen for a prefab wood-frame builder (from German FSC woods) in order to reduce ecological footprint, and to reduce waste on the building site.
We have a 300 l. sun heated tap water buffer tank. Our washing machine gets its warm water from the hot water tank, and the cold water is rainwater. We also reuse rainwater to flush the toilets. As a result, we only buy 13 l. drinking water per person per day (in Holland this is 125 l/d in average!)! Rest of the rainwater is infiltrated in the ecological garden.