The House of Possibilities is the name of a building project at Klostergade 47-51 in the village of Vestervig. The project originates in Thisted Municipality’s regeneration scheme for supporting better living conditions in villages and rural areas by tearing down old and derelict buildings. The demolition of no. 47-51 left a gap in the row of houses along Klostergade. A gap which is now filled by a new multi functional low energy building fulfilling several purposes: The house functions as a demonstration model for low energy building, meeting the requirements in the Danish Building Regulative BR10 regarding energy consumption and indoor climate by the year 2020. The aim of the project is to achieve a low building price per m2 in order to demonstrate that the 2020 demands are both realistic and desirable. After tendering it is possible to set a price at between 8.500 to 10.000 DKK per m2 excluding 25% taxes.
Another purpose of the new house in Klostergade is that of a community house for people in Vestervig. The house will be run by Vestervig Urban Regeneration Society in cooperation with Thisted Municipality. The House of Possibilities is a joint venture between Thisted Municipality, Vestervig Urban Regeneration Society, Realdania, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior and the local branch of the European Fund for Rural Development (LAG Thy-Mors).
The two leases in Klostergade 47-51 are designed to cater for multiple purposes and can be used for living as well as business. A hairdresser’s will be the first to move into the building once it is finished in the spring of 2014. The multi functionality is meant to ensure a long lifespan for the house. The model house is built in materials approved of in the district plan. Building materials are chosen by their energy saving properties in the lifespan of the house as well as in production methods.
As the house is part of an urban infill development scheme the architecture has been adapted to the characteristics of the existing buildings in Klostergade. Both gables are prepared for 1-1½ floor extensions in order to meet the demands in the district plan for joint buildings along Klostergade.
The model house has also been prepared for the possible use of the 62 m2 attic space for accommodation. This has been done in the construction as well as in the placing of density membranes so that the establishing of a new floor can happen without piercing any membranes. Furthermore empty conduit runs have been established for future installations.
The 77 m2 large ground floor space can be extended with a further 35 m2 as well as the possibility of adding a roof terrace. This enhances the possibilities for the house to develop over the years adding to its functionality and life span.
Building Materials and Construction
The double concrete footing has a Leca insulation fill. The ground slab is designed as a concrete slab resting on insulation with a high lambda value to reduce efforts spent on building/reducing the sand cushion.
The front and back walls are made from locally produced aerated concrete resulting in relatively low energy consumption. The aerated concrete contributes to the insulation by reducing thermal bridges. The fronts of the house are insulated with mineral wool with a low lambda value to reduce the width of the cavity wall. The fronts will eventually have a plastered finish like many of the other houses in Klostergade.
The roof is designed over wooden rafters produced in Denmark. The black natural slate roofing was chosen to demonstrate how it is possible to make an acceptable infill roof with inbuilt solar panels. An alternative solution could have been black eternite slate which is already a much used material in other buildings in Klostergade.
The roof insulation is lambda 34 mineral wool in order to reduce the construction thickness. Locally produced insulation materials made from wood wool or paper wool have a somewhat lower lambda value which leads to thicker constructions.
Energy Related Facilities
One of the aims of the House of Possibilities has been to construct a low energy building that concurs with the demands of the 2020 Building Regulative. Heating is supplied by the district heating plant in Vestervig which is fueled by wood chips. District heating is a cheap and energy efficient source of heating. Furthermore the house is equipped with demand-controlled ventilation with maximum heat recovery. A solution with decentralized micro ventilation could have been an attractive alternative but the offers made did not include heat recovery from bath and kitchen, so the centralized ventilation system was opted for.
Part of the energy saving is achieved by integrating two minor PV systems into the roof. Motion controlled lighting has been implemented where it seemed logical i.e. in bathrooms, hall ways and back entrances but not in the main living areas.
The low temperature floor heating and the ventilation system contribute to a perfect indoor climate. Windows and doors have been chosen for their insulation properties whereas the materials for ceilings and other surfaces were chosen for their acoustic qualities and ability to soundproof the building towards the street and the neighbours.
Daylight will flow into the house from windows and doors in the east, west and south facing fronts as well as from Velux skylights in the ceiling. These windows may eventually need to function as a means of escape and were chosen because other more energy efficient products on the market do not have that property. The other low energy windows in the house are from a local producer.
Limited Environmental Footprint
The project aims at achieving optimal use of the market’s most applicable and reliable products with the best environmental classification. The sustainability of the House of Possibilities is optimized by using robust materials with long life expectancy that will not compromise the environment after use, and by building a house with multiple functions and possibilities.
Technical schools, staff associations and consultants will be invited to experience the principles and technology of the House of Possibilities. The project also contains a networking and training programme for everyone involved in the project. Special care will be taken concerning quality control and management during the whole process. New techniques, construction methods and meticulous work processes require a high level of information of everyone working on the project in order to meet the ongoing quality demands. Future users of the building will also receive tuition concerning the correct use of the house.
Developer: Thisted Municipality. Lead Consultant: Møller Nielsens Tegnestue v/ Per Clausen Arkitekt m.a.a. Consulting Engineer: Henry Bertelsen A/S Fri. Consulting Engineer: Ekolab. Master mason: Jørgen V. Christensen. Plumber: Skjoldborg Smede og VVS. Floors: Garant Holstebro. Electrician: Villy Bruun A/S Elteknik. Carpenter: GJ Tømrer og Snedker ApS. Painter: Dover Malerfirma.