The newly developed Active House radar diagram illustrates how all the parameters of an individual Active House are balanced against each other. The parameters are contained in the three central principles of an Active House:
Energy: An Active House contributes positively to the energy balance of the building. Energy sources are either renewable and integrated in the building or a nearby collective energy system and electricity grid.
Indoor Climate: An Active House creates a healthier and more comfortable life. Materials used have a positive impact on comfort and indoor climate, and there is a generous supply of daylight and fresh air.
Environment: An Active House has a positive impact on the environment. The relationship with the local context is optimised and there is focus on its overall environmental impact throughout the building’s life cycle.
Active House is a vision of buildings that create healthier and more comfortable lives for their occupants without impacting negatively on the climate and environment.
The goal of the Alliance is to provide guidelines for designing and constructing buildings that merge environmentally friendly solutions with high levels of indoor comfort. To achieve this goal, the parameters need to be successfully balanced against one another in a holistic approach to building performance, which puts the end-user in the centre.
One of the key elements is recognising that the indoor environment is a very important factor that should be integrated in a sustainable design process from the beginning. Not least as studies show that end-user behaviour has a high degree of influence on the use of energy in buildings. The Active House Radar clarifies the equal importance of energy, indoor climate and environment in creating buildings that give more than they take.
The purpose of the Active House Alliance is to bring together different disciplines. As a building sector we have a responsibility to help to develop the standards of the future, and for spreading the word that low-energy buildings are attractive to both end-users and builders, if they are designed with the focus on indoor climate and the environment as well as energy. Mikkel Skott Olsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Find out more about the Active House Radar by clicking on the next tab.
The Active House radar provides a 360° scan of the building, making it simpler to identify problem areas. At the same time, it demonstrates how all parameters and goals are interdependent. For example, energy parameters could be set at a very high level, which would mean that e.g. the environmental parameters could have a low value; the building would still be an Active House, as long as the environmental targets were met or exceeded in practice.
The Radar diagram can also be used in other ways. For example, it could illustrate different design scenarios for comparison purposes, showing how they impact other parameters. This could assist in prioritising a project. Alternatively, it could contribute to specifying minimum standards for a project, which might be particularly useful in meeting different standards and regulations.
The Active House Radar shows that the parameters depend on active choices within each parameter, while presenting a profile of the specific building.
Upgrade and adjust
The Radar could assist in identifying the potential for upgrading an existing building. By helping to highlight strengths and weaknesses in the parameters of any building, it can contribute to deciding the areas where future improvements could be implemented. This makes it a valuable tool for continuous assessment and adjustment.
The Active House Radar recognises that Active Houses are unique entities. In each case, the unique combination and integration of the elements and parameters contained in the Radar are what makes a particular Active House successful and ambitious.
A web tool is currently under development, which will make it possible to enter relevant data on each parameter for individual buildings. Based on this information, a unique radar scan will be generated for the building in question.
Find out more about the Active House Alliance by clicking on the next tab.
The Active House Alliance is an association of interested parties dedicated to promoting a balanced and holistic approach to building design and performance. The Alliance supports a vision of buildings that create healthier and more comfortable lives for users without negatively impacting the climate and environment. It has ambitious long-term goals for future buildings, and believes that the only way to achieve them is by all actors working together. The Alliance therefore also works to facilitate cooperation on building projects and product development etc. that contributes to the vision.
The ambition of the Alliance is that Active House becomes the future principle for new buildings and renovation of existing buildings worldwide.
Around 40 companies and organisations have so far signed up for the alliance, many of them from the architectural and building industry, while more than 800 users are registered on the Active House website. Grundfos is one of the founder members of the Alliance. A number of demonstration buildings are already in use around Europe, Russia and North America. The alliance also provides webinars, workshops, symposiums etc. and its members participate at exhibitions and conferences.
Based on test results and experience, the Active House Alliance is currently drawing up a revised version of its specifications. The specifications are intended to be a guide for designing an Active House that combines energy efficiency, indoor climate and user’s health and well-being by providing a kind of ‘toolbox’. The Active House Specifications have been developed using an open source model.
Find out more about the Active House Alliance here