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Chotomow house already meets EU 2050 requirements

15 of July '21
Technical data
Investment: "House with a winter garden", single-family building in Chotomow.
Project authors: Agnieszka Figielek, Agnieszka Kapłańska; Passive M2
Author team: Prof. Ewa Kuryłowicz, Maria Saloni-Sadowska, Marcin Szubski, Paulina Gutkowska, Tomasz Kopeć, Joanna Musiałowicz, Kamil Raczak, Marek Sobol, Katarzyna Flasińska-Rubik, Aleksander Krauze, Aleksandra Kurzątkowska, Sonia Kwiatkowska, Antoni Szubski

Usable area:


Construction cost of 1m²:

PLN 3,500 (in developer's condition including installations, including mechanical ventilation with recuperation and heat pump)

Usableenergy for heating purposes:

(PHPP)/12.9 kWh/(m² year)

Air tightness:

ns0/0.22 h

Realized six years ago in Chotomow, the "House with a winter garden" was the first and so far the only one in Poland in the Passive House Plus standard. Designed by the Passive M2 studio and constructed using the STEICO building system, it is an energy-positive building that does not require the payment of energy bills and provides residents with constant thermal comfort. The realization of an investment of such a high standard was facilitated by prefabrication. Thanks to it, the construction process was also not disruptive to nature, into whose surroundings the building was integrated.

Residents of the house in Chotomow do not pay bills for the energy consumed. "House with a winter garden," as this is the name of the project of the Poznan studio Passive M2, is an energy-positive building, which means that it produces surplus energy throughout the year thanks to its own renewable sources. It is the first and, although already completed in 2015, still the only building in Poland certified to the Passive House Plus standard, a higher class of the Passive Building Standard.

{Image@url=,alt=dom with conservatory, south elevation,title=house with conservatory, south elevation}

house with winter garden, south elevation

Photo: Bartosz Makowski/Ladny Dom

Already 6 years ago, when we realized it, it already met all the requirements for buildings that the European Union envisions for 2050! That's why we call it the building of the future," says Bartosz Królczyk of the Passive M2 studio, chairman of the Wielkopolska Passive House Association. - The fact that so far no one else has built such a house shows how important a good design and a comprehensive approach to building a house are in the whole construction process. We don't use space-age technologies, but instead in our buildings everything is planned, well thought out and consistent with each other.

wood construction and insulation

Building a passive house requires meeting certain guidelines, and one of the conditions is the use of materials that prevent heat loss. Therefore, the construction and insulation of the house in Chotomow were made of a natural material - wood. The STEICO system was chosen because it is comprehensive - it provides ready-made solutions for both walls, ceilings and roof, making it easier to realize a building to this standard. STEICOwall and STEICOjoist strong I-beams are not only dimensionally more stable than solid wood, but are the most energy-efficient structural solution. The characteristic cross-section of glued I-beams makes it possible to eliminate linear thermal bridges, which effectively contributes to reducing heat loss through the building envelope. The small thickness of the web, made of durable hard fiberboard with increased resistance to moisture, also allows its proper thermal insulation. The height of the I-beam provides sufficient surface area for thermal insulation and construction of a passive building envelope without overextending it, which would significantly increase the cost of the investment.

The thermal insulation layer of the structural elements of the partition, which protects against heat loss and cooling of the building in winter, while providing effective insulation against excessive heating of the interior in summer, is made of wood fibers. It is from these that the resilient STEICOflex036 mats are made, which have the lowest thermal conductivity coefficient among all known natural thermal insulation materials (λD=0.036 [W/(m*K)]). In addition to their low thermal conductivity, the panels have a very high density of as much as 60 kg/m³ and an extremely high heat storage capacity.

STEICOprotect facade thermal insulation panels and STEICOuniversal rafter panels also have excellent thermal properties, providing additional thermal insulation from the outside of the building. The panels are mounted directly to the structural elements of the partition, and thanks to this connection also linear thermal bridges can be minimized. Made of wood fibers, they are not only distinguished by excellent thermal insulation performance, but are a diffusion-open material, allowing excess moisture to evaporate to the outside of the building, effectively protecting it from moisture.

dom spełnia już wymogi unijne z 2050 roku konstrukcja i izolacja domu w Chotomowie zostały wykonane z naturalnego materiału — drewna

The construction and insulation of the house in Chotomow were made of a natural material - wood

Photo: Bartosz Makowski/Ladny Dom

comfortable temperature all year round

Thanks to the solutions used and natural building materials, the house is energy positive, but also healthy for the residents. The interior has a comfortable temperature regardless of the season and the changing weather outside. Its maintenance does not require the operation of complicated installations.

The temperature has been set once and it is self-maintained by the building," stresses CEO Królczyk. - In addition, the building is maintenance-free, so it is very convenient for residents. There is fresh air inside all the time, supplied by the ventilation system, which is additionally filtered. Residents have better air inside the house than the air outside, even though, after all, it is a building located in a green area, outside the city.

The house was individually designed for the specific needs of the family, and work on the project took 6 months. As a result, it was possible to realize all the investors' expectations, such as the winter garden to which the house owes its name.

One of the client's dreams was to be able to watch the stars while eating dinner with the family. That's why we designed a glazed area in the form of a winter garden, which is part of the living room," explains Bartosz Królczyk. - The glazed zone is inside a warm layer, so there is the same comfortable temperature as in the whole building. So it is not a typical winter garden, which is cool in winter and overheats in summer. By using the right components, we have the same constant temperature as in the rest of the building.

dom jest pierwszym i jedynym w Polsce budynkiem w standardzie Passive House Plus we wnętrzu panuje komfortowa temperatura niezależnie od pory roku i zmieniającej się pogody

The house is the first and only building in Poland in the Passive House Plus standard,
the interior has a comfortable temperature regardless of the season and the changing weather

Photo: Bartosz Makowski/Ladny Dom

prefabrication to the rescue of nature

We obtained a building that emits no air pollutants and no carbon dioxide emissions during its operation. And all thanks to the fact that the building is super-energy-efficient and uses local, renewable energy sources," explains Bartosz Królczyk. - Both the building's structure and insulation are made of a natural material - wood, so that adverse emissions are also strongly reduced during the construction phase. And if needed, at the end of the building's life cycle, these materials can be re used. In addition, the building also recovers rainwater, which is used to irrigate the plot, he adds.

During implementation, it was possible to preserve more than 72% of the greenery on the building plot. This was possible, among other things, because it is a prefabricated building. Manufactured at the factory, the prefabricated elements were brought to the construction site, and only assembled on site. In this way it was possible to reduce waste, but also to reduce the nuisance of construction for neighbors.

value inscribed in the building's energy performance

The building in Chotomow is pioneering, and although there are still no similar investments in Poland, it sets a direction already initiated in the world, which the domestic construction industry will also have to follow.

We are heading in the direction of zero-emission construction, that is, construction that emits no greenhouse gases at all throughout its life cycle. This means that the building at the use stage will make up for the carbon dioxide emissions that were emitted during construction," predicts Bartosz Królczyk. - Thanks to the fact that a passive standard building is very energy-efficient, the use of domestic renewable energy installations makes it possible to cover its energy needs in full, and even generate surpluses consumed by, for example, an electric car. Therefore, this is not some short-term trend. It's a path that all of us must take - all countries, all citizens - to avoid a climate catastrophe.

A high standard of energy efficiency is a benefit not only in the form of lower operating costs and no electricity bills, but an investment so that the house will not lose value with subsequent changes in energy performance regulations.

A building I build today to the current minimum standard will not meet energy efficiency criteria in 10,20 years. This means that in the future it will require expensive thermal upgrading, which will lower its market value," says Bartosz Królczyk. - Today we have to make economically rational decisions and build buildings with the highest possible energy characteristics, as energy efficient as possible, because only this guarantees us that in the future they will have a certain value on the market. If we don't, their value will simply decrease with each update of energy performance regulations. And these regulations will become more and more restrictive, because as a country we are a member of the European Union, and the European Union has as one of its main priorities the fight against climate change.

For more information, visit the website ofSTEICO CEE SP. Z O.O. A&B portal.

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