The Velux Sunlighthouse in Pressbaum near Vienna is the first co²-neutral single-family-house in Austria.
The challenge was to create a house that taps the full potential of the plot on the one hand and to develop an energy and ecology concept that would erase the ecological footprint of the house within the next thirty years on the other hand. What distinguishes this project from many ambitious preceding projects is the aim to combine minimized numerical values for energy efficiency with ambitious architecture in spite of an all but ideal plot.
The energy concept of the building was developed in collaboration with the Danube University of Krems. The building equipment includes a high performing heat pump, 48 m² mono crystalline photovoltaic roof panels, 9 m² thermal solar panels for hot water and a controlled air system with heat recovery. The roof and facade windows were strategically positioned to provide stunning views, to maximize passive solar energy, to enable optimal, natural ventilation during summer time and to minimize the thermal losses during winter as well as to achieve the highest possible factor of daylight. In fact the Sunlighthouse’s total window area is equal to 42% of its floor area. Like the outside planking, the interior fitting is made of spruce wood.
Furthermore each and every material was evaluated in terms of their ecological qualities before their use was authorized. In the end the goal was accomplished. The Sunlighthouse will produce more energy than the construction as well as the usage of the house consumes, which makes it a small “power station” and a beacon project for further conscious and sustainable planning and building.