EKZ - EnergieKompetenzZentrum Großschönau: "Sonnenplatz - 1. European passive house village for test-living" phase of realisation
The passive house is a very well examined house standard that offers lots of advantages for users, producers and the general public. One could assume that it is already accepted as state of technology. In the "Sonnenplatz" Großschönau passive houses will be built for probewohnen® - ‘test-living' in English.
The idea behind: You can test drive every car, but a house - built for a lifetime - you could not. Probewohnen® is a unique help for a majority of the population to make decisions for passive houses substantially easier.
At the "Sonnenplatz" Großschönau passive houses are built for probewohnen® (test-living) in cooperation with construction companies and other related companies. The final status - that is thought to be reached in a few years - should consistently enclose 20 objects that offer residential unities for probewohnen® in the latest state of technology. Since May 12th 2007 probewohnen® at "Sonnenplatz" Großschönau is reality.
End-users can experience and feel the advantages of a passive house by probewohnen® (test-living). By hands on experience and trying out different types of passive houses customers can experience energy efficiency and ecology and learn more about these subjects in a pleasant way. During their stay the guests - the test dwellers - can acquire detailed knowledge about passive house building techniques, technologies and components. In a tour around the "Sonnenplatz" the different buildings are explained, additional information is given about building and insulating materials, technologies, etc. The information program offered within probewohnen® is cut especially to the needs of end customers. Company neutral consultation without suggested or actual obligation to buy creates the necessary conditions.
In the first phase Sonnenplatz started with five buildings. To make the comfort of the passive houses noticeable for the dwellers without restriction, a high-class advisory board supervises the architectural and technical construction and function of the passive houses. Building the passive houses at Sonnenplatz it is crucial to reach the guaranteed high-class level "Passive house". The planning and realisation of passive houses makes high demands on all partners. A good cooperation of owners, planners and companies is more important than ever. In particular the cooperation of the single components and house technology components is tuned very exactly on each other. In the "Sonnenplatz" Großschönau every project was divided into three phases. For every phase aids for quality assurance were developed, built upon the international passive house standard of the passive house institute of Darmstadt and on Austrian klima:aktiv criteria. In cooperation and with support of the Austrian ministry of environment the buildings were certificated as a "klima:aktiv passive house". Due to project-accompanying training programmes the enterprises can become partners of "Sonnenplatz" even without special previous knowledge in passive house building. This knowledge is given by the common planning process, the quality assurance and the professionalism of the high-class advisory board.
Analysis of technical data and user behaviour
During the whole use data of the passive houses are collected by an efficient analysis of the energy and resources consumption and user behaviour. A contribution to higher residential quality, to more comfort and therefore to the development of new customer layers should be performed by a combined analysis of the user's behaviour, the energy characteristics and the user's feeling. Precondition for optimum data collection is a sensor draught, automatic data collection, professional evaluation and analysis as well as scientific sound questionnaires. The data recorded from investigations and analyses are made available to manufacturers of the houses at "Sonnenplatz". By the comprehensive analysis for the first time data on the actual user behaviour, on energy consumption under different weather conditions and details on the subjective comfort feeling of the users are recorded for the enterprises.
Paramount aim is to broaden the range of products at "Sonnenplatz". Therefore more buildings will be put up in the next construction stage. Furthermore a research and competence centre for construction and energy should be built. The competence centre is a multifunctional building in which the management of probewohnen® and the organisation are accommodated, furthermore a training and education centre as well as a long-term exhibition hall. In addition, offices for service providers, building design, consultation, etc. should be included. The "Sonnenplatz" Großschönau with its integrative and highly innovative concept is a strategically important focal point for sharing knowledge and learning about energy-efficient and ecological construction for a wide target group: all partners in the process of building and renovating houses.