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Pragmatism and care. Energy-efficient house of the project

20 of July '22
Technical data
Investor: private
Location: Poland, Gliwice
Design team: Mateusz Skalski, Paulina Skalska, Agata Pierożyńska, Sonia Kwiatkowska, Michał Laskowski
Ventilation: Grzegorz Krukowski
Plumbing: Piotr Simka
Electrical: Piotr Swierk


  • design
  • implementation



  • usable
  • total

189 m²
146 m²

Cubic capacity:

1 258 m³

The drastic increase in energy prices and the cost of living in general makes us look for alternative solutions - we install photovoltaic panels on roofs, balconies in blocks of flats are occupied by vegetable gardens. And what ideas does architecture suggest in this regard? Check out the energy-efficient house of the {tag:pracownie} project.

dom energooszczędny energy-efficient house

Photo: Maciej Spiess

A house that, by design, has a lower energy requirement is an option for significant savings. In the project, architects from the Wroclaw-based managed to achieve a total annual energy consumption of 40.79 kWh/m² (for comparison, a standard 150 m² single-family house, according to various sources, consumes between 65 and 110 kWh per square meter each year). How did they do it?

From the first discussions with customers, the house sml. was to be characterized by pragmatism and concern for the environment. Reasonableness in the choice of materials, keeping the functional program in check, zoning of rooms, compact body and individual formal and technological solutions were to meet precisely these original assumptions, the project authors explain.

thoughtful functional program

It was thoughtful and consistent design decisions that made it possible to significantly reduce energy consumption. The architects opted for a modest, compact body covered by a gabled roof (the fewer "folds", the less heat loss) on a rectangular plan. They also took care of the appropriate location of individual zones and functions, adapted to the directions of the world and, consequently, the degree of sunlight - so on the northern side were placed utility rooms, bathrooms, part of the kitchen, a dressing room and a vestibule.vestibule, and on the better-lit south side the places where the household members spend most time - the dining room, living room, children's rooms, bedroom and study. Thus, the life of the residents takes place on the first floor - the attic is unused, housing the heat pump, but more about that later.

rzut parteru

first floor plan


Due to the need to maintain good insulating parameters of the partitions, there is only one window on the north side, additionally providing light to the kitchen and giving a view of the zone in front of the house. The living rooms, on the south side, have large, terraced sliding doors giving access from each room to a shared, covered terrace, the designers add.

The house, located in a picturesque setting of fields and forest, could not lack a terrace! Wanting to provide homebuyers with idyllic views, the architects tried to reconcile framing the landscape with large glazing (associated with reduced thermal insulation) and the concept of an energy-efficient house. So they opted for a deep, covered terrace located on the south side, which protects the interior from excessive overheating in summer, but also allows natural light to flow into the interiors in winter, when the sun is slightly lower.

taras z widokiem na malowniczą okolicę detal elewacji

The terrace (south) and the entrance area of the house (north)

Photo: Maciej Spiess

We also decided to close the shorter sides of the terraces with walls so that the east-west winds blowing in the open space would not cool the glazed south facade. In the enclosing walls we managed to locate small utility cells, intended for garden furniture, gardening tools and children's toys, the architects explain.

szkic projektu

project sketch


Installations in an energy-efficient house

The architects' creation of the aforementioned canopy over the terrace made it possible to eliminate the free-standing shed in the garden - because in the corners of the deep arcade there was space for small utility rooms. What other advantages did this solution bring?

[...] thanks to the use of a reversible heat pump and a recuperation system, warm but used air, flowing outside through the utility room, heats it and provides an additional thermal buffer on the north side," the designers explain their choice.

schemat ogrzewania

heating scheme


Continuing the theme of technical solutions, it is worth touching on the installations used in the design of the energy-efficient house. On the roof of the building is installed photovoltaics, which provide the energy needed for the operation of underfloor heating, water is heated in two ways - through solar panels and an air heat pump (the one located in the attic). The building, the designers calculate, is also equipped with mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation with heat recovery, and an underground retention tank to collect rainwater is placed on the plot.

schemat retencji wody deszczowej

rainwater retention scheme


healthy materials

The house is made almost entirely in prefabricated technology, which allows quick construction and limits the amount of materials used - the use of prefabricated roof trusses allowed, as the designers emphasize, to create an arcade without the need for additional supports, while the load-bearing walls were built from prefabricated expanded clay concrete.

przekrój A-A

cross-section A-A


We focused on high-quality, healthy construction and building materials, reducing unnecessary elements and finishing materials to a minimum, the architects add.

In the house's finishing layers, the designers used recycled liquid polyurethane as part of the floor insulation. To improve the efficiency of the underfloor heating, they opted for an anhydrite floor with a high thermal conductivity coefficient, and for the thermal insulation of the roof and attic, as well as the acoustic insulation of the partitions, they chose cellulose obtained from recycled paper milling.


dining room

Photo: Maciej Spiess

Choosing an energy-efficient home is not the answer to all the ills of the modern world, but it can be a step toward creating a thoughtful architecture that cares about the environment and our well-being.

elaborated: Ola Kloc

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