References ⁄ Zipperle residential property in Merano (l)
 
A dream house aligned on the sun

The owner's requirements were very precise: The new house in Merano was to provide accommodation for three generations and at the same time satisfy comprehensive ecological criteria. In 2001 the Zipperle family – grandparents, parents and three children – moved into a modern new building, which stands out from the crowd as a result of its special architecture and provides around 240 square metres of living space on two levels.

Sunny ambience

The carefully considered spatial layout enables the creation of three separate living areas, divided from one another and adapted to meet individual needs. "The crucial factor was that the ecological aspect was not solely restricted to the materials employed, but that the house should passively utilise natural energy resources from the outset," according to architect Erich Erlacher. The oval, almost boat-shaped ground plan enables even exposure to the sun. The protruding ceiling and the roof effectively keep off the sun's radiation in the summer. In the winter, however, the low sun provides its full quota of light. On further unusual architectural feature is the lamellar glass façade that shields the northern wall of the building from the effects of the weather, with the space between the façade and the wall serving as a heat buffer. The same glass lamellas serve as railings for the large, balcony-like open area on the top floor, and provide cooling when opened up.

Natural wood

The owner and architect choose prefabricated solid wooden elements for the roof and wall structures. Thanks to their minimal thickness these not only save space but are very quick to erect, even with the unusual shape of the house. PAVATEX wood fibre insulating materials were used for the roof and walls to ensure that the compact structure also saves energy. There is no roof insulation of the conventional variety in this house. As the roof is only stretched like an umbrella over the living areas, the flat ceilings of the rooms have been insulated with PAVATHERM, thus achieving a U-value of 0.18 W/(sq m K). The PAVATEX wood fibre insulating panels not only provide protection against the cold in winter but also the summer's heat, as well as noise insulation.

Wood fibre insulation

The wall structure starts on the inside with panel of fibre-reinforced plasterboard, which is attached to the 90 mm solid cross-glued plywood panels. This is followed by 80 mm PAVATHERM panels and a composite heat insulation system with PAVATEX DIFFUTHERM of the same thickness. This gives the wall a U-value of 0.21 W/(sq m K). The finishing touch on the outside is provided by a hydraulic lime mortar in the colours of the sun's arc. PAVATEX wood fibre insulating materials are manufactured from conifer wood chippings and sawdust, without any extraneous additives, as a result of which they meet the high ecological standards of the owner and contribute to a largely homogeneous wall structure. The good insulating properties are also responsible for the fact that the external wall, only 30 cm thick, can provide just as much heat insulation as a brick wall many times as thick, while at the same time delivering a considerable gain in terms of living space.

Saving energy and feeling good about it

Thanks to the structure of the walls and the passive utilisation of the sun's energy, the Zipperles' house meets the standard of a low-energy house. The energy requirements are only one third of those of a conventional brick-built house. In this way the house makes its contribution to climate protection with extremely low energy costs, while at the same time offering a high quality of life.

A dream house aligned on the sun

The owner's requirements were very precise: The new house in Merano was to provide accommodation for three generations and at the same time satisfy comprehensive ecological criteria. In 2001 the Zipperle family – grandparents, parents and three children – moved into a modern new building, which stands out from the crowd as a result of its special architecture and provides around 240 square metres of living space on two levels.

Sunny ambience

The carefully considered spatial layout enables the creation of three separate living areas, divided from one another and adapted to meet individual needs. "The crucial factor was that the ecological aspect was not solely restricted to the materials employed, but that the house should passively utilise natural energy resources from the outset," according to architect Erich Erlacher. The oval, almost boat-shaped ground plan enables even exposure to the sun. The protruding ceiling and the roof effectively keep off the sun's radiation in the summer. In the winter, however, the low sun provides its full quota of light. On further unusual architectural feature is the lamellar glass façade that shields the northern wall of the building from the effects of the weather, with the space between the façade and the wall serving as a heat buffer. The same glass lamellas serve as railings for the large, balcony-like open area on the top floor, and provide cooling when opened up.

Natural wood

The owner and architect choose prefabricated solid wooden elements for the roof and wall structures. Thanks to their minimal thickness these not only save space but are very quick to erect, even with the unusual shape of the house. PAVATEX wood fibre insulating materials were used for the roof and walls to ensure that the compact structure also saves energy. There is no roof insulation of the conventional variety in this house. As the roof is only stretched like an umbrella over the living areas, the flat ceilings of the rooms have been insulated with PAVATHERM, thus achieving a U-value of 0.18 W/(sq m K). The PAVATEX wood fibre insulating panels not only provide protection against the cold in winter but also the summer's heat, as well as noise insulation.

Wood fibre insulation

The wall structure starts on the inside with panel of fibre-reinforced plasterboard, which is attached to the 90 mm solid cross-glued plywood panels. This is followed by 80 mm PAVATHERM panels and a composite heat insulation system with PAVATEX DIFFUTHERM of the same thickness. This gives the wall a U-value of 0.21 W/(sq m K). The finishing touch on the outside is provided by a hydraulic lime mortar in the colours of the sun's arc. PAVATEX wood fibre insulating materials are manufactured from conifer wood chippings and sawdust, without any extraneous additives, as a result of which they meet the high ecological standards of the owner and contribute to a largely homogeneous wall structure. The good insulating properties are also responsible for the fact that the external wall, only 30 cm thick, can provide just as much heat insulation as a brick wall many times as thick, while at the same time delivering a considerable gain in terms of living space.

Saving energy and feeling good about it

Thanks to the structure of the walls and the passive utilisation of the sun's energy, the Zipperles' house meets the standard of a low-energy house. The energy requirements are only one third of those of a conventional brick-built house. In this way the house makes its contribution to climate protection with extremely low energy costs, while at the same time offering a high quality of life.