Net zero energy building in Põlva

Net zero energy building in Põlva

Net zero energy building in Põlva

This is the first internationally certified passive house in Estonia. The design process of this 3-story single family house has been led by the principles of energy efficiency and good indoor climate from the beginning. The building has simple rectangular form and has favouring orientation with large glazing areas towards the South to maximize the passive solar heat gain through the windows during the heating season. The location at the top of a little slope provides less overshadowing and splendid views.

The interior design revolves around the large living room that spans through multiple stories from where you can access other living areas with a lot of daylight provided by large windows. Natural finishing materials combined with massive clay plaster walls provide a healthy indoor climate and help to accumulate passive solar energy and balance the fluctuations of temperature and air humidity. The exterior of the house also simple and natural – light plastered façade is complemented by the modest timber grating near the entrance.
The natural and simple look of the building is contrasted with solar panels covering part of the Southern façade and towering above the roof. The solar thermal panels reduce the energy demand for domestic hot water and supplement the heating system while the photovoltaic elements above the roof produce the electricity for everything else including heating system, domestic appliances, lighting and sauna. The system is dimensioned to provide all the energy needed annually in the building while buffering the seasonal excess and deficit to the grid making it effectively a net zero energy building. The passive house in Põlva is first in Estonia to fully comply with the international passive house standard (certified by PHI).