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Passiv-Energy-Standard Housing in Salzburg

The brief for the competition – organized by a property developer – called for a passive-energy-standard housing scheme incorporating publicly assisted dwellings and in a timber form of construction. The architects’ solution met a variety of constraints, including the integration of the complex in the urban surroundings, compliance with the standards for passive-energy construction, as well as the provision of the requisite habitable quality.

Situated on the edge of an existing housing area close to a stream, the three elongated building strips follow the alignment of the neighbouring developments. The scheme exhibits all the qualities one would expect of state-of-the-art multi-storey housing: it contains dwellings of different types and sizes (some suitable for wheelchair use) with well conceived layouts; and the flats have their own private balconies or terraces. The basement beneath the middle block houses parking spaces, communal laundry facilities, and tenants’ stores. The outdoor areas can thus be kept free of cars and are laid out as semi-public landscaped spaces with a playground and bicycle parking.

In contrast to many passive-energy housing schemes in which the buildings have quite different front and rear elevations, the long faces in the present development are basically the same and are articulated by broad re-cesses. Access to the blocks is also from both sides, with pairs of entrances linked by internal staircase spaces. In this way, it was possible to create a dense network of routes. On the two upper floors, the sheltered spaces at the junctions between dwellings are used for outdoor seating. The flats themselves also have two aspects, facing north-west and south-east, which ensures a greater habitable quality. At the same time, this means that -solar gains are possible throughout the day. With its holistic energy concept, the development not only meets the requirements of passive-energy-standard construction in an ideal environmental form. It is also distinguished by low operating costs, from which the residents themselves benefit.

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 6/2007

Energy-Efficient Architecture

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