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House of Energy: first Passive House with Premium Class certification

Wyróżniony Przypadek February 2016
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House Of Energy: world’s first building with Passive House Premium certification opens a new opportunity beyond green construction

The House of Energy is one of the world’s most sustainable buildings. This three-storey Multi-Purpose Building (mixed residential and commercial) includes offices for several companies, an apartment, a seminar room and a permanent exhibition on the topic of “Construction and Refurbishment”. Built as a solid wall construction, the façade design has the appearance of a barcode.

As in every Passive House building in Central Europe, the maximum energy efficiency is ensured through triple-glazed windows, an excellent level of thermal protection, an airtight building envelope, largely thermal bridge-free construction and a ventilation system with heat recovery.  A ground source heat pump is used for the remaining small heating demand and hot water provision. The necessary auxiliary energy and domestic electricity are provided by a 250 m2 photovoltaic system on the roof. Any surplus energy that is generated is fed into the grid.



Awarding background


The new Passive House Premium building class was launched in 2015 along with the Passive House Plus class according to the new version PHPP9 (2015 - Version 9.2). This classification has been developed to take into account the transition of building energy sources from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It allows a maximum total energy demand of 30 kWh/m2.year and a minimum renewable energy generation of 120 kWh/m2.year. The maximum heating demand for all Passive House Certification Classes is limited to 15 kWh/m2 annually.


In the House of Energy, the annual heating demand is only 8 kWh/m2 per year which is nearly 50% less of a heating demand than that of any Passive House. The House of Energy actually falls slightly short of the required energy generation requirements at 103 kWh/m2.year, but has still been awarded Premium accreditation due to the excellent energy usage levels. Its overall demand for renewable primary energy is just 21 kWh/m2.year, which is almost a third less than required, and thus, has been allowed to compensate for the slightly lower energy generation.

During the International Passive House Days 2015 , when the building opened its doors to the public, it was awarded with a Passive House Premium certificate - being the first building of its kind in this category.





Bavariaring 14, 87600 Kaufbeuren (Bavaria, Germany)



Project team


Project management, main contractor and building owner: AIROPTIMA - Markus Meyer

Architecture design: bg Architektur – DI Barbara Glantschnig

Thermal design: AIROPTIMA - Markus Meyer

Construction works: Konstruktionsgruppe Bauen AG

Installation of systems: Heinle Elektrotechnik / EPW Elektroplanung Wohlfahrt / Böck-GST

Passive house Certification: Herz & Lang GmbH

Other collaborators and providers:



Time schedule


Design: 2011

Construction: 2011-2013 (18 months)

Delivery and inauguration: May 2014



Building use


Type of building: 3-storey Multi-Purpose Building

910 m²  Treated Floor Area - TFA  (Conditioned Floor Area) according to PHPP9


The House Of Energy is the headquarters of the AIROPTIMA Company. It also contains new headquarters for companies from the fields of architecture, housing technology and social media. In addition to hosting these offices, there are the following other features:


- an apartment which corresponds to a real dwelling and is used for testing operations according to Passive House methodologies.

- a seminar room “KnowHow” which is a training center with approximately 70 m2 for educational purposes, knowledge sharing and information. The resident companies and partners of “Bauschau” use the conference rooms regularly for their own meetings and training sessions. The room is suitable for events having a capacity of up to 50 people.


- a permanent exhibition “Bauschau” which is relevant to the theme of "Construction and Renovation". Another objective of The House Of Energy is to convey the message that construction products and energy-efficient building concepts are economically feasible to the general public. Successful approaches and technical solutions, in particular for passive houses, are available as well as topics covering concepts such as financing with funding opportunities, building and roof waterproofing, insulation systems, window and door systems, air and wind tightness, heat pump and ventilation systems, thermal comfort, photovoltaic integration, etc. Around 50 national companies are now exhibited in the Bauschau.



Construction costs

-Total construction cost: 1,65 M €. (approximately 1.815 € per m2)

Energy consumption costs
-Renting cost for guest companies (including energy, water and additional services, parking not included)
9,50 € per m2
-Heat pump costs
3.500 KWh/year (3,9  KWh/m².year)
870 € per year
0,96 € per m².year
0,08  € per m².month
-Ventilation systems costs
1.900 KWh/year
2,1 KWh/m².year
470 € per year
0,52 € per m².year
0,04 € per m².month 



Envelope performance


A solid wall brick construction with pioneering technology combined with a high level of insulation due to an Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS). There are also innovative solutions which incorporate pre-fabricated polyurethane (PU) foam modules that have been adapted to specific building elements such as window frames, corners of building, etc.


Envelope details:


Exterior wall: U-value = 0.144 W/m2.K

15mm interior plaster / 240mm Masonry brick / 200mm Insulation / 10 mm outdoor mortar.


Basement floor / floor slab: U-value = 0.113 W/m2.K

5mm Linoleum flooring / 65mm Preheated cement screed / 20mm Footfall / 80mm EPS Insulation / 5mm Sealing / 300 mm Reinforced concrete / 200mm Isoquick Insulation


Roof: U-value = 0.071 W/m2.K

250mm Reinforced concrete / 1mm Vapor barrier / 485mm EPS Insulation / Sealing


Windows Frame: U w-value = 0.74 W/m2.K

Producer: VARIOTEC GmbH & Co. KG, Energyframe

Composition: Wood/Polyurethane foam/Wood


Glazing: U g-value = 0.53 W/m2.K

Producer: INTERNORM 3 Fach-Weissglas Solar

g -value = 51 %


Entrance door: U d-value = 0.62 W/m2.K

Producer: VARIOTEC GmbH & Co. KG,

Composition: Thermosafe 100



Energy systems




A geothermal ground source heat pump with brine probe supplies the building with any required heating needs. It draws its energy from deep probes inside the plot of land. Details:

-Brine heat pump of 10.9 KW with three 80 meter depth probes.

-Heating buffer: 200 litres

-Type: underfloor heating


In order to generate 100% renewable energy for the ground source heat pump with brine probes, ventilation equipment and an extensive photovoltaic system are also connected.


Domestic hot water (DHW)


Hot water production is delivered by the same brine water heat pump with a 300 litre hot water tank.




Eight residential ventilation systems supply the building’s various zones with fresh, filtered outdoor air. The ventilation systems include heat recovery as well as control the underfloor heating with the building automation system.

The Heat Recovery Efficiencies according to each ventilation system are:

-GLT Grohmann Ventilation Equipment Gmbh - Fox Comfort Plus: 78%

-Systemair GmbH - VR 400 DCV / DE: 85%

-Zehnder Group Nederland - Comfoair 350: 84%

-Heinemann GmbH - Vario 1500 SE: 88%

-Maico Ventilatoren - aeronom WS 250: 85%

-Paul Wärmerückgewinnung GmbH - novus 300: 93%

-J.PICHLER Gesellschaft m.b.H - LG 500 system VENTECH: 86%

-J.PICHLER Gesellschaft m.b.H - LG 250 system VENTECH: 88%


Blower Door result: n50 = 0.21 1/h (PHPP9).


Photovoltaic installation


The renewable source for the electricity is a Photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the roof of the building and the garage. This system, having 40,5 kWp of peak power, is used predominantly to power the building in accordance with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (method for Passive House Certification Classes) and is guaranteed to produce more than the entire energy consumption of the building and its operations. When there is a surplus supply (more than storage capacity), it is fed into the grid or is used in a charging station together with regional energy suppliers (e-mobility module).


Intelligent building automation

Interior of the building: functions such as lighting, heating and ventilation are controlled via Building Information Modelling from KNX Technology from JUNG. This intelligent building technology makes it easy to link together and operate numerous systems and room functions. Access from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets also ensure a high degree of user friendliness.



Renewable production


In total, primary renewable energy production is estimated around 103 kWh/m2.year calculated according to PHPP9. Thirty eight percent (38%) of the electricity produced is used directly and covers about 80% of the total electricity demand. The rest of the electricity produced (62%) is fed into the grid when there is an energy surplus and the other required electricity (20%) is purchased and is CO2 neutral.



Energy consumption


Primary Energy Consumption: 21 kWh/m2.year for heating installation, DHW, household electricity and auxiliary electricity calculated according to current PHPP9.2 classifications.



Annual Heating Demand: 8 kWh/m2.year calculated according to current PHPP classifications.



Additional links


Pictures in video:

Building card (official Passivhaus Database):

Passivhaus Certification Classes:  

Building leaflet in German:

First presentation of finished works before inauguration:


For further information, please visit the relevant Passivhaus website.

Lessons learnt

As this mixed residential and commercial project is one of the world’s most sustainable buildings and the first that has met the criteria for a Passive House Premium certification, it demonstrates that constructing buildings where far more energy is produced than needed, is indeed feasible and helps building owners and designers go beyond what economic and ecological considerations already propose. This project provides useful insights and experience to all stakeholders interested in green construction through its special educational facilities which include the permanent exhibition "Bauschau" (“Construction and Refurbishment”) and the training room "KnowHow".

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