The change that occurs in Velux’s experiment to renovate old houses is impressive at first sight. LichtAktiv Haus is a pilot project to demonstrate the feasibility of new solutions in the renovation of old houses combining in the best possible way energy efficient architecture with an optimal quality of life.
Velux’s experiment, LichtAktiv Haus, reforms a house while maintaining the enclosure of the building’s original structure. From traditional to spacious rooms with lots of light that improve the occupants’ living conditions and with windows that have increased their dimensions from 18 square meters to the current 60 square meters.
A proposal for modular rehabilitation
The strategy used for this project is a simple way of refurbishing an existing building with no need of major changes in its structure. The core of the structure is maintained in its original state, only installing a new roof surface including roof windows that provide natural light. In addition, solar collectors are installed on the roof and the interior of the building is reorganized more efficiently achieving wider spaces. To do this, the old extension is transformed into a kitchen and a living room, creating a new entrance and generous views into the garden.
As for the modular renovation, it is an extension of the original house, which with a wooden structure for modifications to meet the particular needs of the family.
Carbon neutral house
LichtAktiv Haus aims to meet all its energy demand using renewable energy, and enjoy natural light and fresh air. The first requirement to achieve this goal entails a dramatic reduction in energy demand, which is usually considerably high in old buildings.
The power windows installed in the roof ensure the necessary ventilation to guarantee the air generation required in the most air-tight buildings. This automatically controlled natural ventilation is an excellent alternative for renovation projects with no need of any additional cooling equipment.
It also has a control system that automatically opens and closes windows according to temperature, CO2 concentration and humidity, creating a healthy indoor climate.
An air-water-heat pump and a solar thermal system complete a highly efficient solution that minimizes the need for conventional energy. The amount of energy achieved through the photovoltaic elements and the residual demand for energy are equivalent thus compensating CO2 emitters with renewable resources.
Sunlight and natural ventilation
The sunlight design played a central role in the LichtAktiv Haus architectural concept. Increasing the amount of sunlight and views to the outside, allow the occupants to enjoy the rhythms of the day and experience more directly the seasonal changes in nature surrounding them.
The ventilation concept combined with the shutters and the sun protection products, work as a “natural air conditioning”. In summer, the house is protected against sunlight and in winter, it harnesses the heat coming through the window to reduce heating and electricity consumption.