On the outside the architect Alexandra Schmitz’ two-story home looks surprisingly unspectacular. The dark wood façade, for which Douglas fir was used, the spacious wooden terrace, and the classic saddle roof blend in effortlessly with the rural surroundings. But there is something that at first sight visitors would never guess: The architect’s residence is full of technical sophistication, is networked throughout and as a KfW Efficiency House 55 is a winner in terms of energy consumption – thanks to solar panels on the roof, well insulated walls, and networked building communication by Gira.
Schmitz built the two-story wooden house, which boasts a terrace, garden and swimming pool, according to her own design on a 536-square-meter plot of land. Wood defines not only the façade, but also the spacious rooms on the inside. Oak parquet flooring on both levels and wooden furniture make the bright and, for the most part, open areas on the ground floor feel warm and cozy. The building services engineering is operated out of sight in the background and features all manner of comforts for the residents: The wall-mounted “Gira G1 touch sensor” for KNX systems can be used to switch the lighting in the house on or off at the tap of a finger, likewise the sockets for stand-by appliances and audio systems.
Thanks to the clear status display on the operating device, the architect has a handle on control of the blinds, the ambient temperature, and the door communication system. If, for example, it is showing that a window in the house is still open, she can close it using a smartphone or tablet, even when she is on the move. Yet she intended her home to be not only comfortable, but primarily sustainable. The energy generated by the solar panels can be used to heat the floor, domestic water, and the pool. A thermostat measures the temperatures and distributes the heat as required, such that no energy is wasted. Furthermore, on particularly hot summer days automatic shading of the windows keeps the rooms cool. The “Gira HomeServer”, the brain behind the entire building services engineering, handles all the data; the perfect interplay between all the components gives Schmitz solar and internal gains of 47,7 kWh/m²a per year. (sb)