What is the future of buying a home

How does a house have to be designed so that it meets future demands for living comfort and sustainability? The “LichtAktiv Haus” is making an attempt, which primarily relies on plenty of daylight and a sustainable energy supply.

How do you make a classic Hamburg settler house from the 1950s fit for the future? The best way to do this is to extensively renovate it and bring it up to the "zero-energy house" standard - as part of a project of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg. The main objectives: the highest quality of living and a healthy indoor climate with plenty of daylight and fresh air.

Comprehensive makeover

The original house was completely re-insulated and equipped with the latest building technology. In keeping with the sophisticated daylight architecture, there were a large number of skylights, which - if desired, automatically - are supposed to provide natural ventilation. The newly created extension, which now has space for the living room, dining room and kitchen, is very important for the overall concept. Cells for photovoltaics and solar thermal energy were installed on the roof of the extension. Together with an air-to-water heat pump, this ensures the energy supply is sustainable. In this way, the ecological footprint of the house is to be kept as small as possible.

In the course of operation, the building should even achieve CO2 neutrality: It is assumed that thanks to the expected energy generation and low consumption on average over the year, no external energy has to be supplied.

Reality check

All theory is gray - the makers of the “LichtAktiv Haus” know that too. That is why they have decided to put their house through its paces, especially in everyday practice. So they were looking for a family who could live there rent-free for two years and try everything out. At the end of last year the time had come - the Oldendorf family of four could move in. Under the observation of scientists from Berlin and Darmstadt, the living and feeling of wellbeing of the Oldendorfs is now being researched and documented. Of course, energy consumption and indoor climate are also constantly measured under real conditions. Hopefully this will lead to practical and realistic insights into future living.