Active Technology

Header Engeneering / Kopfbild Haustechnik

Active Technologies

The building envelope is optimized for energy production, using different kinds of photovoltaic technologies: on the roof high efficient mono crystalline photovoltaic (efficiency 18%) is installed, while thin film photovoltaic is applied on the facade. These cells provide extraordinary possibilities of architectural integration, which is one important aim of the energy concept. To provide a more filigree visual expression of the photoactive facade we used CIGS modules with an efficiency of 11 % and a very uncommon proportion of 30 by 120 cm. The façade is therefore able to be cladding and louvers with the same element. Therefore the facade is able to regulate daylight, solar gains (heating) and cooling demands. It also includes blinds and visors.


The surPLUShome features highly efficient appliances in the kitchen as well as for housekeeping. For example we use a dryer with heat pump technology which reduces its energy demand by 30%. All these appliances make it easy to safe energy in use but more important is the building automation as it makes it easy to live efficient in the house.

The main idea of our building automation system is to provide the inhabitant with information about the current building status and an intuitive control over the buildings equipment as for air conditioning and for energy setup according to the inhabitants needs. This integration of all building relevant elements leads to a more efficient way of energy use and a new lifestyle. Consequently all the multimedia is integrated as well.

We installed a European Installation Bus (EIB) to connect all actors and sensors in the building. And to keep the expenditure for installation in Washington, D.C. low, we integrated small space controllers, which control the actors locally in every building module of the surPLUShome. Only a EIB wire and power cable has to be connected to every module to start operation – it’s really plug-and-play.

To stay close with our design concept we minimized the space used for technical equipment to increase the usable space. So the multifunctional body for example serves as a distributive element for piping and wiring. From there everything spreads through the raised floor level to its destination. It also contains the kitchen and bath and serves as a staircase up to the 2nd storey. With this step we minimized the required space for building service equipment down to 0.7m².

As diagram the flow of energy inside of the building services of surPLUShome works like this:

Logos - DOE, SD09 and NREL NREL DEO Solar Decathlon NREL DOE Solardecathlon 2009