A new type of houses is emerging in the wake of the focus on climate change and energy costs. These so called passive houses are seen as the solution to the challenging task to drastically reducing energy consumption in buildings.
In passive houses energy consumption for heating is minimal and the contribution to CO2 emissions is modest. The low heat consumption in these energy efficient homes is achieved by e.g. extra insulation, highly efficient windows, ventilation with efficient heat recovery and utilisation of passive solar heat. This means that the layout of the building has to be carefully thought through. Ramboll has designed passive houses in Denmark, Greenland, Sweden, Norway and Britain, and our experience within this field will be utilised in future building projects.
Sustainable one-family homes
In Skibet, Denmark, Ramboll is part of the design and construction process of the KOMFORT houses. These are an example of how one-family homes can become sustainable by ensuring minimal energy consumption without having to sacrifice architectural details or comfort. The aim is to unify Danish architecture with good indoor climate and low energy consumption.
Award-winning housing development
In Upton, Britain, we provided structural engineering, building services engineering and sustainability services on an award-winning scheme for a new housing development where high architectural standards are combined with a strong sustainability agenda. The project comprises 165 residences, which is a mix of houses and flats. Here, features such as solar panels, solar hot water, green roofs and facilities that reduce utilisation of energy and water ensure low energy consumption.
Low energy housing in an extreme climate
We have also provided full consultancy on an energy efficient house in Sisimiut, Greenland, just 50 km north of the Arctic Circle. The aim was to build a house that would consume half as much energy as prescribed by the building code. Due to the extreme climatic conditions with winter temperatures as low as -35˚C, areas with permafrost, strong winds and very few solar hours during winter it was a particular challenge to reduce the heat consumption in the house. The results collected from this house will be used during a renovation of existing housing in Greenland, as well as future construction projects.