In Gijon, on Spain’s northern coast, a villa has been built to the passive house standard which impresses with its clear stylistic idiom, excellent energy efficiency and high thermal comfort.
Interlocking cubes of different sizes create a building with lots of daylight, shady verandas and open terraces. For the demanding project to succeed, the architects adapted the alignment and size of the openings as well as the shape of the building to the prevailing climate. This resulted in a compact, long building with a rectangular footprint, whose longest side runs from east to west.
The building has large south-facing glass façades. Apart from structural shading solutions, windows and doors from Finstral also provide protection against excessive summer heat.
For the passive house villa, the triple insulating glazing based on Eclaz, Planitherm and Cool-Lite Extreme 60/28 from Saint-Gobain Building Glass Europe was used. The premium spacer bar Swisspacer Ultimate ensures an especially energy-efficient glass edge. This results in a window solution with a U- value of 0.79 W/m2K at a light transmission factor of 77 percent.
“Our spacer bars are already well known as a warm edge for saving energy in winter,” says Frank Junker, Sales Manager at Swisspacer. “However, they also offer advantages in summer: they keep the heat of summer outside and, as a cool edge, contribute to much less energy having to be used for cooling buildings.”
A study by the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt proved how much of the useful cooling requirement can be saved with a premium spacer bar compared to aluminium spacer bars: in warm climate zones like Gijon, the energy requirement in passive houses works out almost 9 percent lower.
This performance aspect is sure to grow in importance as climate change progresses. According to forecasts, such as that of the German Climate Consortium, the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves will increase around the world. With a higher number of sunny days, the need for coolly calculated solutions will also rise.