What must the house of the future be able to do? It must be environmentally friendly and adapt to the individual needs of residents. The construction period should be short and the costs as low as possible. A house that is sustainable across the board. Is that possible? Yes! Stephanie Wilke, Managing Director of AH Aktiv-Haus GmbH, explained how in an Almondia expert interview.
Active house: How it all began…
The catalyst for founding the company was the research project ” B10 ” at Bruckmannweg 10 in the middle of the famous Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart. Werner Sobek, one of the two founders of AH Aktiv-Haus GmbH, designed an active house for the area that had been unused since the war. The building was realized in 2014. Thanks to the sophisticated energy concept and a self-learning building control system, the active house generates twice its energy requirements – from sustainable sources.
The Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart was built in 1927 by the Deutscher Werkbund under the direction of Mies van der Rohe as a revolutionary project in the building industry. The settlement brings together various designs by famous architects, some using experimental materials that depict the possible future of building and living.
After three years, the building will be completely dismantled and can either be rebuilt elsewhere or 100% recycled. This innovative project did not go unnoticed: the architect received numerous purchase requests. This was the birth of the development and sales company AH Aktiv-Haus GmbH. The company does not build houses itself, but cooperates with various manufacturers who produce the prefabricated house parts under strict quality specifications. AH Aktiv-Haus GmbH therefore only acts as a licensor and provides concrete plans and detailed assembly instructions. The quality control takes place in the respective factory, the customer gets his house delivered and assembled by the production company at the agreed time.
Prefab house 2.0
How does the aktivhaus differ from other prefabricated houses? Unlike usual, the concept of the active house system construction is not based on uniform, standardized components, but on a uniform joining principle. Everything should be able to be put together and taken apart in the same way. Flexibility, reusability and reusability are therefore essential advantages of the aktivhaus system construction. In order to be able to produce and offer inexpensively, there are of course standardized components in the wall and floor area, which can be individualized, for example, through different forms of facade design. The complete construction does not have to be revised for every house – the variance results from the different possible combinations.
The Triple Zero® standard: 3 x 0
Another special feature of the aktivhaus concept is the Triple Zero® standard, which defines the requirements for an all-round sustainable building. The name keeps what it promises, namely three times nothing – no energy consumption from external sources, no CO2 emissions, no waste.
The construction of aktivhaus prefabricated houses with the Triple Zero® standard therefore promises great savings. The use of renewable raw materials and the assembly of the individual components in a way that allows them to be easily separated later are two fundamental principles of sustainable construction. The wood fiber insulation used can later be easily separated from the façade and reused – in contrast to Styrofoam insulation, which is glued to the exterior plaster.
The energy used to operate the aktivhaus prefabricated houses is generated exclusively from the sun. With the help of a storage battery, it is possible to live completely self-sufficiently for one to two days or, for example, to supply an electric vehicle with self-produced electricity.
Individuality in series
If a customer is interested in buying an aktivhaus prefabricated house, he first has to decide which series he prefers and can then choose between different module types within the desired series.
The entry-level price model is aimed at municipalities, municipalities and housing associations that want to create affordable housing quickly (e.g. for refugees or students). The models of the 700 series usually have a simpler equipment and do not necessarily have to meet the requirements of the Triple Zero® standard. You can choose between the 701 model with an area of 45m2 and the slightly larger 702 model with 60m2. The net construction costs – excl. Special costs for stair railings on the upper floor and the like – amount to €1,396 per square meter.
The architecture, materials, technology and equipment of the aktivhaus prefabricated houses from the 800 series are of a higher quality. A photovoltaic system is already included in the basic version. Both the outer facade and the inner walls are available in different surface finishes – from wood to textiles, almost all sustainable materials are possible. The models in the 800 series are priced at between €3,000 and €4,000 per sqm, depending on the desired equipment.
The first aktivhaus prefabricated house will be built from September in Winnenden, near Stuttgart. It is just one of a whole settlement with a total of 38 wooden houses designed as temporary housing for refugees. 200 refugees are to move in here in October – initially for a period of three years. In the second phase of use, the houses should be available to low-income families. Due to the special joining principle, the modules can easily be put together to form new residential units. Two small 45m2 modules can be combined to form a 90m2 apartment for a small family. Retrofitting with a photovoltaic system is also planned. The corresponding installation requirements have already been created for this, so that in the end only the line has to be pulled through the shaft.