passive in the round

March 24, 2008 at 6:42 am Leave a comment

Introducing one of Sweden’s first pre-fabricated passive homes, designed by Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture. Clearly derived from traditional courtyard houses, Villa Atrium uses time-tested concepts to allow for lots of cross-ventilation and natural light.

round passive house 1

Cross ventilation becomes possible because of the narrow band of space between exterior walls. Sunlight is also allowed in both sides, greatly reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day.

round passive house 2

The exterior walls are thick, providing thermal mass for greater insulation and temperature lag. The atrium is kept small to reduce the inefficiency of the circle. In other words, walking from one side to the other is kept to a minimum distance. The flip side of this is that the atrium probably doesn’t get direct light for much of the day. During the summer this can be beneficial.

round passive house 3

As an approach to passive design, there isn’t any new advancements here. But it is a novel design punctuated by the fact it is a donut. But the donut/courtyard concept has one major flaw that isn’t conducive to cold climates (Sweden is in one). That flaw is that it creates much more exterior wall which means during the winter there is more heat loss. It will also cost more money for insulation.

All in all, it’s an advancement to a growing trend – prefab homes. And I look forward to learning more about its development.

+ via: Dezeen

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Entry filed under: architecture. Tags: , , .

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