Energy saving…. that is the key
Energy saving measures, are the most significant questions that these houses solve, reducing the consumption of all kinds of energies, heating, electricity, refrigeration etc. and secondly, by reducing the energy demand from the building itself.
There are energy certificates attesting these models of passive house as the Passivhaus or Minergie (Swiss). Another "third way" in this sustainable model also takes into accounts other energy criteria, which incorporates other environmental related concepts such as green building and the application of non-polluting materials.
Green that is word
Here we are talking about obtaining the approval of the hallmark names of LEED, BREEAM, Green or Eco-design by AENOR developed and managed by the Spanish Government, together with various manufacturers and consumers associations.
In the case of the new homes in Mugartea designed by architects ByE combine criteria Passiv haus with the Ecodesign seal (avoiding the use of solvent in paints, using breathable facades ...).
It doesn’t work so well in Spain
The problem of Passivhaus is that it is more focused to German climates and has more to do with the tightness of the building. The houses are designed as tight thermos blocks although they use a very interesting principle, however they are not as efficient in Spain where the houses need to be well insulated in winter but also has to take advantages of the long spring season that we have in this part of Spain, or the Summer season where buildings need to be cross ventilated during most of the hotter months. The concept of the thermo block does not quite works in this part of Spain heating and cooling down the building have to be thought of.
In any case all these hallmarks are complementary to those already known as the famous energy certificates EPC’s (mandatory since 2013 and depend on the Ministry of Industry). Energy certificates are contained in the Royal Decree 235/2013 which comes from the 2010 European directive, and have a lot to do with the emission of CO2 being “A” the highest certification awarded to a building and “G” the lowest.
The EPC Certificate
The difference in energy cost between a building with a “G” and an “A” could amounts to the respectful figure of 2,300 Euros a year. If you take into account the fact that normally people may live in a house during say 15 years, we are talking about a saving of 34.500 Euros. In 25 years the amount jumps up to 57.500 Euros, not a contemptible figure by any means.
All knew buildings must also comply with the Technical Building Code (2013, last update also incorporates the energy issue to other aspects such as safety or habitability).
Everything goes hand in hand, construction, energy; sustainability ... In short, houses to invest in the future. The crisis has matured the building sector, forced by the European directives and the need to provide better, more durable and healthy buildings, after all they are our second skin.