This just might just be the most beautiful zero-emission home we have ever laid eyes on. Snøhetta, a design firm in Norway, has created the ZEB Multi-Comfort House in Ringdalskogen, Larvik, Norway. The house not only runs solely on solar energy, but collects enough extra solar energy to power an electric car for one year.
ZEB took 10 months to build and, according to Kristian Edwards, the lead architect of the project, a very intricate process was employed to ensure that the solar energy would be used at the highest efficiency.
The result? A home with striking features like a tilted roof that is slanted at a 19-degree angle to accommodate the photovoltaic panels (the ones that provide electricity) and the solar thermal panels (the ones that provide heat and hot water). Edwards told The Huffington Post that the roof also provides a dramatic flair to the inside of the home. “It is perhaps the most striking element of the upper floor,” he says. “Relatively small bedrooms gain great volume, hugely beneficial to sleep comfort, light transmission and of course, a certain drama.”
In the atrium, Edwards used recovered brickwork from a barn that was being demolished. “The recovered brick serves a thermal mass which passively contributes to balance temperature spikes,” says Edwards.
There are currently no tenants in the home. However, Edwards says that there are plans in the works to have families occupy the space “in order to realistically test the building and system performance.” Feedback from visitors has been “generally extremely positive,” he adds.
Despite it’s forward-thinking approach, Edwards says the goal of ZEB was to create a place that is welcoming and comfortable, with energy-saving features that virtually disappear into the background. “Our goal was to ensure that the house, whilst advanced, is predominantly welcoming,” says Edwards. “The outdoor covered atrium with a fireplace gives a welcome extension of the outdoor season that is fundamental to the Norwegian culture. This shows that the steps toward zero carbon housing need not represent a quantum leap in lifestyle, and therefore, makes it simpler and quicker to make the switch.”