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VKR Holding’s net zero-energy home

01/09/2010

The “Home for Life” is not just any single-family home, but is the first prototype of a Danish concept known as an “Active House.” Designed with an aim to bring carbon-neutral houses to the masses, this stylish little house is the first of eight experiments that VKR Holding is financing in five European countries. The self-sufficient house using eco-friendly materials, a rooftop of solar panels and energy-scrimping designs produces enough energy to meet terms with its daily energy requirements, while sending the surplus to the grid.

In July 2009, the Simonsen family moved into the model home to test how close it is to being a net zero-energy home. Located on a residential street outside Arhus, Denmark, the one-and-a-half-story house features broad windows and long sloping roof of a typical Scandinavian home. The slanted skylight that lights up the first floor with sunshine can be opened to bring in more fresh air.

It also sports features like specialized windows, tight insulation, a climate-control system and solar thermal collectors. The house generated 800 kilowatt-hours of electricity last August. Its overall surface area of the house was kept to a minimum to avoid heat loss. The $700 000 Home for Life has proved to be net-zero energy home and is sure to satisfy the inhabitants. The Simonsens will be moving out of the house in one month, and this environmentally friendly, carbon-neutral home will go on the market.

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