Design for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Energy efficiency and all main performances of the building should be define in the early planning phases. The decisions taken in these early stages of building life cycle contribute to largest extend to the sustainability of the building with highest potential of the optimisation for sustainable development. See figure bellow (source N. ESSIG; INSTRUMENT FOR ASSESSING THE SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE OF BUILDINGS IN EUROPE; proceedings of the CESB 2010, Prague).

 Optimisation for sustainalbe building development over time - source OPENHOUSE

Eco Silver House (ESH) was as a high rise building of 17 floors from first idea conceptualized as a high performance, sustainable building. Even more, it is planned to be a showcase example of energy efficient new building with regard to its dimension and superb impact on ecological and environmental protection, with proved reduction of CO2 emissions, low energy consumption and integration of renewable energy sources. With smart growth in mind, the project reflects the following principles: using mix land, taking advantage of compact building design, creating range of apartment choices, creating walkable neighbourhood, fostering attractive community with a strong sense of place, providing a variety of transportation choices, making development decision predictable and cost-effective.

In the ECO SILVER HOUSE, the innovative design concept of the entire building is reflected in a combination of materials, embedded systems and devices and their control system (steering), which provides high-living comfort with the rational use of energy. Modern apartment floor plans are the result of the analysis of customer needs and high demands as well as current ecological trends (tendencies).


Design team

Integrated Planning requires project management before, during and after design, involving a multi-disciplinary team, a collaborative and iterative work, aiming at optimising the sustainable performances of the building. Indeed, the adoption of an integrated design approach is a success factor for multi-criteria design optimisation and innovation with limited risks, and also makes operation phase easier and cost- effective.

Design Team for the ECO SILVER HOUSE has gathered top experts in the building sustainability and integral design. The advantage of the planning team was that the investor (client) and the architect office are same organisation. A multidisciplinary formation of the planning team covered members and experts of the most important disciplines appropriate to the specific project type. This categories were: architestural design, structural, technical building equipment, and building physics. The team actively involved many  other experts - as feasible - but at least had a sustainability consulting team of at least 3 project team members, at least one appropriate stakeholder - involved in different phases of project design and construction.

Meetings of the integrated project team were hold according to the schedule of the project design.  New team members have been introducted to discuss problems encountered, formulate solutions, review responsibilities, and identify next steps. As part of the EE- HIGHRISE FP7 demonstration project, additional national and international experts have been indirectly involved to review design solutions and suggest improvements, review construction technologies and system implemented, to suggest new technologies in monitoring equipment, and to analyse socio-economic aspect of future ocupants of the apartments.FP7 Energy Efficiency demonstration building planning and application for funding


FP7 Energy Efficiency demonstration building planning and application for funding

ECO SILVER HOUSE is a demonstration building in EE-HIGHISE project of the 7th Framework Programme of EU. The investor and the design team applied for this funding in order to  to demonstrate and validate new technologies, concepts, and systems used in EE-HIGHRISE project, in order to test and assess the technological and economical feasibility of innovative energy solutions in high rise demo building Eco Silver House, and, to contribute directly to the EU energy and climate change policy. The objectives, the workplan, and the partners of the EE-HIGHRISE project are presented in other parts of this web page.


Design Process

The goal of the design process of the ECO SILVER HOUSE was to optimise the building sustainability including energy efficiency, healthy and comfort living, and economical aspects. A systematic approach in the development of demo
Eco Silver House was used. All elements and systems of the building that could contribute to a better energy efficiency and sustainability through integrated design and planning are envisaged, including heat recovery technologies and
very efficient water/waste management, enhanced systems for energy behaviour monitoring and demand response and load control systems. Integrated project delivery method Building Information Modelling (BIM) was used in the process.
The project was made in 3D mode using Graphisoft Archicad program 12 and 14, while IFC product model is used for the communication between different projects (statics for example). Model was also used for visualisations, 3D models, sun studies, etc. The design brief was agreed with the design team, owner/occupier and other relevant consultants. 

ECO SILVER HOUSE key performances in energy efficiency and sustainabilty have been set at the beginning of project.

  • A passive standard (PHPP07) with the use of energy for heating 10kWh/m2 a year (the limit for passive standard is less then 15kWh/m2a) (for detail information please see section 1.2.2) and
  • Energy class A (energy identity card) with annual need for energy 2.4kWh/m2a (for detail information please see section 1.2.2)
  • Excellent thermal isolation and sound isolation of walls (lowering the level of external noise form 67 dB to 24 dB)
  • High quality ventilation system by recuperator, which enables the restoration of the waste heat (85% heat recovery represents an essential saving, that is more than 50% lower costs of heating); simultaneously it enables the high living comfort and permanent air quality in all places,
  • Sun protection including exterior shutters, which prevents overheating of the building in summer time,
  • Eextremely rational air-conditioning with time defined operations
  • Intelligent steering and handling of electrical and mechanical appliances, machines and tools, which enables simple and easy managing and handling, coordinated and automatic functioning of integrated machines and tools – all appliances with standard 220V)
  • Concept of mutually independent living units (flats)
  • Ecological materials (plaster), which enables healthy environment and high living comfort
  • Use of rain water for toilette flushing and saving of drinking water – 60m3
  • Sun electric power plant on the roof of the building (photovoltaic cells) – 33kW
  • Green roof – 750m2
  • Remote heating system as the most economical energy source
  • Efficient simultaneous preparation of the sanitary water with heath exchanger, without permanent heath losses of hot water
  • Materials with low integrated processing energy.