Contest #634: Portvakten Söder, Passive House Apartment Buildings, Växjö, Sweden

Passive house architecture is a set of standards and methodologies for creating extremely energy-efficient spaces. Passive house uses technologies like superinsulation, dynamic heat-exchange units, low energy-loss windows, and intelligent air-exchange to minimize heat loss from the structure, allowing the tenants to leverage passive heat sources like body heat to keep warm, even in cold-weather climates like that found in Scandinavia.

In Växjö, they have taken this even further — Portvakten Söder is two, 8-story apartment complexes with 64 apartments between them. They have no traditional heating system. The heat produced by the residents, body heat, lamps, ovens, toasters, coffee makers, etc, is kept in the complex. Exhaust air is “mined” for heat which is redistributed throughout the buildings. A small allowance is made for unoccupied apartments, a battery that generates heat is built into each apartment which comes on only when the sensors in the air-handlers determine that the unit is not producing its fair share.

Those who moved in and save a bunch on their heating costs included:

  • Paul Voestermans
  • Martin de Bock
  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower
  • Luís Filipe Miguel
  • hhgygy
  • Walter_V_R
  • Teemu Pukki
  • Hans1789
  • MuThDdDe

And after the hint:

  • Andreas Meister
  • Lighthouse