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location: Nußgasse, Wolkersdorf im Weinviertel, Austria; project type: renovation; project year:  2016; land area: 7 771.5 ft² / 722.0 m²; built-up area:  1 474.6 ft² / 137.0 m²; floor area: 1 754.5 ft² / 163.0 m²

family house
slovak university of technology 2016

The purpose of the VELUX AHA 2016 competition was to bring new concepts to support the sustainable development of villages in the suburban areas of Vienna. For the reconstruction of a family house in Wolkersdorf, Austria, it was necessary to demonstrate the principles of the Active House standard, i.e. quality indoor environment, respect for the environment and energy efficiency.
The idea of ​​designing a family house in the Active House standard was to create conditions for living, working and meeting different types of families. The house is adapted to the life of a childless working couple, two generations family or young people taking care of their parents, etc.

One of the principles of Active House, or designing in a passive standard, is to preserve as much as possible of the original building, or reuse of building and insulation materials. Therefore, in my proposal I decided to preserve a large part of the basement and several brick walls on the first floor. I used the original bricks to build load-bearing installation partitions. The rest of the building is built from CLT panels.

The land is flat and has a regular rectangular shape. Shorter plot side facing the street is situated to the northwest. This orientation is satisfactory for the building plot as such, but in the case of Active House it is slightly disadvantageous due to the reduced active solar gains.


The entrance of the building is overarched by a wooden frame structure, protecting it against prevailing northwest winds. This type of disposition reduces heating and cooling costs, because spaces such as toilettes, wardrobes and food chamber are placed on the north side.


The building is designed with recuperation, whose wiring is led in floors, ceilings and mainly in two brick installation partitions in the building. Technical units are located in the utility room in the basement.

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