Gothenburg, the next arena for the Nordic Passive House Conference

The next nordic passice house conference will be held in Gothenburg 15th – 17th October 2013 at Chalmers Conference Centre. This will be the 6th Passive House Conference in the Nordic countries. The themes for the conference will be

-       Renovations improving buildings to passive house standard
-       Creating energy efficient urban districts

Check out the website:

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The Nordic Passive House Conference 2012 – a glance at Sweden

Asa Wahlstrøm from Chalmers held the last presentation on The Nordic Passive House Conference 2012. Wahlstrøm reminded the participants of why we are working to reduce energy use in buildings and referred to the IEA World Energy Outlook. – With current policies will not reach 2-degree goal, said Wahlstrøm.

Asa Wahlstrøm referred to the IEA World Energy Outlook and with current policies we will not meet 2-degree goal (Photo: Birger Jensen)

Sweden’s way to nearlyzero energy buildings was the theme of the presentation. At the end of 2011/2012 new building regulations were introduced in Sweden, with a transitional period until 1 January 2013. Sweden is divided into three climatic zones, south, center and north with its different energy criteria. There are different requirements for residential buildings and commercial buildings, and whether the building is planned with electric heating or other heating systems.

Energy requirements in the new Swedish building regulations which are mandatory from January. Many public and private actors in Sweden believes the new rules should not be equated with almost nearly zero. 80 percent of Sweden’s buildings located in climate zone 3 days in southern Sweden (ill: Åsa Wahlstrøm)

Disagree on nearly zero energy buildings

The Swedish Ministry has in its proposed new building regulations also proposed that the new energy requirements will be juxtaposed with the revised EU buildings directive. 49 of the 82 submissions reacted negatively to this, and they believed there was a potential to tighten the requirements further. Swedish energy authorities were one of the institutions who believed that the new energy requirements of the building regulations do not meet the EUs revised buildings directive. There was no conclusion on the level of nearly zero energy, and the Swedish energy authorities are now working on a roadmap for nearly zero energy buildings by 2020, with the proposed intensification projections of building regulations every five years.

Important with demonstration projects
Lagan program was launched in 2010 and will support the energy efficiency of buildings in Sweden, and is a 5-year cooperative program between the construction industry and energy authorities in Sweden. The program will support exemplary projects and initiatives for knowledge and information dissemination to promote more buildings with low energy demand. The program has certain defined activity measures that will provide 500 demonstration projects in both new construction and renovation of houses, buildings and commercial buildings.

-In 2010, 11% of newly built apartments in Sweden 25% were better than the requirements of the Building Regulations. Approx. 2,000 homes in Sweden are now built with passive house level, and it has been a great increase in the number of office buildings with energy label B or better, but not much has happened at area development level. However, there are plans in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö who have high ambitions for reduced energy consumption by a total of 20,000 planned homes. There are some municipalities that demand energy efficient buildings, including Leksands and Jönköping Municipality, said Wahlstrøm

Enthusiasts are important

-However, we are also addicted enthusiasts to achieve those goals, said Wahlstrøm and highlighted Hans Eek who leads Passive House Centrum in Västra Gøtalandsregionen. Passive House Centrum has among others been initiators for passive rehabilitation of residential Brogaard Alingsas municipality outside Gothenburg.

(Left) 10 of 16 low-rise buildings in Brogaarden is now renovated to passive house level after an initiative of Passive House Centrum (photo: Alingsåshem)
. (Right) There are 800,000 apartments built as Brogaarden in Sweden. There is great interest from around the country on the Brogården passive house renovation said Hans Eek, enthusiast and passive house expert (photo: Birger Jensen)

Brogaarden is a residential area built in the early 70`s and was a part of the so-called “Miljonprogrammet.” The Swedish Parliament decided in 1965 that within a decade to build one million homes in Sweden. It`s now time to renovate these buildings.
-We only have a chance to renovate these buildings properly, said Åsa Wahlstrøm.

The Nordic Passive House Conference 2013
Next year’s Nordic Passive House Conference will be held in Gothenburg 15-17 October 2013 and Låganprogrammet is one of the organizers. The conference will have two main themes, energy renovation and energy efficient area developments

Are Rødsjø from the Norwegian Housing Bank was one of the initiators of the first Nordic Passive House Conference in Trondheim in 2008, handed over the baton to Sweden Åsa Wahlstrøm from Chalmers and Per Åhman from Swedish Construction Federation on behalf of the Norwegian organizers


On Laganbyggs website you can see a sample of buildings with energy label A or B in Sweden:

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Nordic Passive House experts gathered in Trondheim

More than 400 of the leading passive experts in the Nordic countries are now gathered at the conference PassivhusNorden 2012.

Director from the Energy Efficiency Department at Enova SF Audhild Kvam from Enova stated that a lot has happened in the four years that have passed since the first Nordic passive house conference were arranged in Trondheim in 2008. There are more passive projects, and there are ambitions beyond passive house level, reflected Kvam.

Kvam opened the conference on behalf of the organizers, SINTEF, DiBK, NTNU, Lavenergiprogrammet and Husbanken

Participants in the conference represent a wide range of actors who work within the construction industry both in Norway and the other Nordic countries. Approximately one quarter of the participants belong outside Norway.

First out of the external speakers was EU MEP Fiona Hall, who for several years has fought for policy changes in terms of climate, building quality and energy efficiency in the European Parliament.

In her talk she picked up the diversity on how member states have followed the objectives and goals behind respectively renewables and energy efficiency directives. With a self-critical look Hall states that it takes longer than desired to improve the continent’s building stock, and she pointed out that the reason could be too vague, continued political ambitions in the area of energy efficiency.

- In retrospect, we see that the goals should be binding. It has been too easy for the individual countries politicians exploiting vague objectives, and be flexible in poorer solutions where this was appropriate for the individual government, including my own, she said.

Despite the more resistance than desirable by Fiona Hall’s standpoint, she was clear that the trend towards more climate-appropriate and energy efficient buildings will continue. 40 percent of energy use on the continent is linked to residential and commercial buildings, so the potential is huge for greenhouse gas reductions in the short and long term.

-It is important to recognize that it is a big challenge to do something with the existing buildings build in the last century in the various European countries. It needed both research and political will, which I look forward to discussing how the conference can be resolved, she said.

No details yet
The State Secretary at the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Government Dag Henrik Sandbakken talked about the situation in terms of climate proper construction, in a Norwegian context.

Sandbakken stated that the Ministry is in the process of firming the Norwegian targets on passive and near-zero energy building in relation to the future building codes, but he was not ready to disclose many details before the parliamentary process starts.

Sandbakken was positive that the building industry is proactive in terms of getting to market changes and development, and added that this was a good starting point for people who want change.

-We are not currently the best in the world when it comes to the number of passive houses, but we are well equipped to assert ourselves, said Sandbakken.

Showed examples
FutureBuilts Birgit Rusten closed the first session with a review of various model projects around Norway. Rusten stated that there are currently underway or completed approximately 25 projects with assistance from FutureBuilt, and the next few years should have experience of 25 new projects.
-There’s a lot going on, especially in the axis Oslo, Bærum, Drammen, she said.

Text: Arne Morten Johnsen, Enova. Photo: Birger Jensen, Husbanken

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Kick-off for The Nordic Passive House conference 2012

Nearly 200 people participated in the field trip of 6 energy efficient buildings in Trondheim on Sunday 21 October. The Nordic Passive House Conference has now started.The field trip focused respectively on commercial buildings and residential buildings.

Non-residential buildings

Statnett administration building: Statnett set a target for passive house and energy label A for this building. The building is on three floors including the basement with a total area of 2025 m2. The additional costs for the passive house investment was estimated to 2 million NOK, which triggered a support grant of 700,000 from Enova SF. The total construction cost of the project was 45 million NOK. The supply and return ventilation air enters via a 25 meter long concrete culvert that contribute to preheat the air. On days with temperature of 0 degrees the concrete culvert preheated the air temperature to 5 degrees. At high summer temperatures is cooled down, so that the indoor temperature is kept constant.

Knowledge Center St. Olav. Norway’s first hospital building build as passive house are under construction at St. Olav’s Hospital. 17,500 m2 distributed evenly between hospiatal and university facilities. With an estimated net energy consumption of 127 kWh/m2 per year the contractor YIT assumes that annual energy savings will be at 1.9 million kWh per year. Contractor for construction, Veidekke promised that the tightness for the building will end at 0.3 which is far better than the passive house requirement of 0.6.

Sparebank 1s headquartered in Trondheim: In 2010 Sparebank1s headquarters was completed. The building is not passive house standard, but the office space has yet measured the energy consumption of 65.9 kWh/m2 per year. To ensure constant indoor temperature, supply air goes through the concrete elements of the structure, and up from the floor.

Residential buildings

“Miljøbyen Granåsen”: At Angeltrøa in Trondheim we visited the largest nordic passive house construction site. Over 300 units will be built in the period from 2010 to 2014. 17 houses were completed earlier in winter 2012. The developer Heimdal Listing explained how buyers emphasized the houses’ energy qualities. That the houses were built to passive house standard was not as important before they bought, but after the acquisition was completed, they had set themselves more into the benefits of living in a passive house.

Ranheimsveien 149: Trondheim Municipality has realized housing facilities for persons of beds and nursing care. The project is realized through the extensive use of wood and was Norway’s first official passive build after the norwegian passive house standarda NS 3700. Through the pilot project there were achieved excellent energy goals, almost passive level, with a simplified hydronic heating system with heating and solar collectors for heating domestic hot water. Upon announcement of the turnkey contract, in May 2009, the project was described as “almost passive” with an energy frame 78 kWh/m2year. HENT, which was selected as the contractor, engaged Rambøll as energy adviser to the project. Using some minor measures that were implemented in the project requirements fullfilled the norwegian passive house standard  NS3700. These measures were largely related to the building’s volume, density and window area.

Teknobyen student housing is the first student housing project built by the Norwegian passive house standard is a result of the world’s largest architectural competition Europan9. The building consists of 116 studio units and a large kitchen with eight cooking stations and is the largest multi-occupied houses that have student-run kitchen. Teknobyen student housing is one of eight buildings that were nominated for the Norwegian Governmenst Award for Good Practice in Housing design in 2012. Important criteria that were applied, the energy and environmental qualities, universal design and good architecture.

Technical conservation measures are installed include measurement of hot water per unit to raise awareness of residents on private consumption, heaters with frost control when the windows opened, and motion sensors for lights in common areas. Net heating demand is measured to 16.9 kWh/m2.

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