A Passivhaus is a building that saves energy. This concept, born in Germany almost 30 years ago, consists in combining a high interior comfort with low energy consumption and very affordable price. So far in Spain it was applied to single-family homes, but this is no longer the case, because in Pamplona the first block of flats under these criteria can be now found.
“Many people who come to buy a house, are very well informed,” says Germán Velázquez, of estudio V Arquitectura responsible for the design of a building in Pamplona certified by the Passive House Institute, ie under almost zero energy consumption criteria and maximum energy efficiency. And besides, “they know what they want, what they do not want, and look at the qualities and materials,” adds Laura Valencia, from Promociones Las Provincias, the developer that has taken the first step to innovate in the construction of housing blocks by applying criteria of maximum savings in energy consumption, improving the housing energy efficiency and, therefore, reducing the greenhouse gases emissions.
” The price of housing is something I cannot tell you, but it will indeed have a very competitive price and in line with the market,” says Laura Valencia to EnergyNews.
It is the first Passivhaus certified residential building in Spain, and it aims to reduce consumption especially in heating. “Tenants will be surprised that in a city like Pamplona, very cold in winter, they can live in a building that has no heating, just radiant under floor, and on top they will give it a very marginal use, they will launch it in very few occasions” explains the architect, “the ventilation system with heat recovery will maintain the desired temperature without connecting the heating or opening the windows and all with almost zero energy consumption”.
This block of 29 homes is located in the area of Soto de Lezkairu in Pamploma and is currently in the construction work phase.
“The building is built of concrete and brick as all the blocks that are usually built. But to this we added the value of applying the passivhaus criteria: improving insulation, eliminating thermal bridges, working carpentry with glazing, special care is taken with the tightness and it has a heat recovery system, “says Germán Velázquez .
In the building attention is especially paid to airtightness and insulation in roofs, walls and work in windows carpentry, one of the main areas where heat can be lost in a house. “We also have a special interest in specific materials to maintain the tightness of the house and high performance heat recovery systems and triple glass windows,” he adds.
Another challenge of passiv housing appears with the placement of the blinds. “This project has blinds. For a passive building, having blinds is a great challenge, as they have significant thermal bridges in the box. The placement we have prepared for them means that there will be no air inlets, nor thermal bridges “, say ‘V Arquitecturos’.
And the main difference between a passiv project fand a traditional one lies in the project, which has continuously in mind the spaces to undertake the installation for insulation. In addition, during the work good care will be taken of tightness to work the concept from the beginning.