Keeping up with today’s mini-trend of (shockingly) non-IKEA-related housing news coming out of Sweden, I thought I’d revisit a notable residential building project located outside of the city of Malmö that I first made mention of way back in November 2009.
When I intially caught wind of said project, Villa Åkarp, it was under construction with the lofty ambition of becoming an energy-plus (or positive) home. In other words, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is not only influenced by stringent Passivhaus building standards that focus on energy recovery and conservation (high amounts of insulation, triple pane windows, thermal recovery, strategic building orientation, etc.), but energy generation as well. Thanks in part to a 32-square-meter rooftop photovoltaic array, the now-completed residence produces significantly more energy than it consumes. In all, the airtight home’s solar panels produce around 4,200 kilowatt hours (kWh) of juice per year (mainly during the summer months) with a surplus of around 600kWh annually that’s fed back into the grid in a partnership with local green utility provider E. ON. That’s enough energy to power another energy-efficient home for two months.
GE’s always-fabulous ecomagination blog recently profiled the impressive project — it's dubbed as “Sweden’s most energy-efficient house,” by the way — in detail and included a few insightful quotes from Villa Åkarp’s proud owner, Dr. Karin Adalberth.
Adalberth — a doctor of building technology Passivhaus expert, and technical building specialist for the Danish company responsible for the home’s insulation, Rockwool International — explains that despite the intimidating up-front construction costs for a Swedish energy-plus home (about $100,000 more than traditional homes), three more energy-plus homes have been completed in Sweden since Villa Åkarp and she anticipates that more are on their way.