“Autarc homes” or “self-sufficent homes” aim to be sustainable, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and at the same time affordable housing. Since a passive house depends heavily on the sun, this project optimises energy production through the windows – by ensuring the house tracks the sun from morning to night.
“Autarc homes” should be able to operate independently of centralised systems. So the energy production and storage, drinking water supply and wastewater treatment take place in the structure.
The implementation of the “autarc homes” research project was divided into three subprojects.
1. “NHIWC” new highly insulating light wood construction
The main objective of the “NHIWC” research project was the development of highly insulating building envelopes, which are suitable for use in structures that meet the passive house standards. Several wall-mounted timber structures suitable for passive houses were developed and optimised for this purpose. The long-term behaviour of these component assemblies was simulated in advance by the University of Applied Sciences Kärnten, which supported the project. This made it possible to gain information about the temperature and humidity behaviour of the components even at the design stage. 14 selected components were metrologically monitored and analysed in the field trial for the test house.
2. “FT systems” – Floating and turning systems in the living space
To optimise the solar input, which is essential for a passive house, the building tracks the sun from morning to night. A floating house offers the advantage that a minimum energy expenditure is sufficient for rotating the house.
One feature that makes this unique throughout the world is the float made of wood, with waterproof coating and insulation, which meets the passive house standards and can be used as a high-quality living space. The float has versatile applications and can even be used as a conventional sealed cellar.
3. “Autarc homes”
The two precursor projects formed the basis for furthering the vision of an “autarc residential building” in cooperation with innovative partners from the areas of building services, photovoltaics and solar, water treatment and energy storage.
The building was subjected to statics measurements for a period of 2 years. It has been used since then for events and as a demonstration and reference object for Weissenseer.