Keywords: sustainable housing, energy efficiency, rooftop solar energy, photovoltaics, hot water, solar space heating, universal design, passive energy investment, passive energy components, housing retrofit, single family houses, housing services, housing amenities, housing functions, housing activities, low energy houses
Retrofit of a century old land-house to a low-energy house
Converting a low-quality brick construction into a low-energy solar house takes five steps. First, avoid spillage by optimal space allocation. Second, apply natural and/or somatic energy wherever and whenever possible. Third, integrate passive and semi-passive solutions. Fourth, harvest renewable commodity energy. Fifth, efficiently complement previous steps with commercial energy. Twelve percentage of the retrofit budget made the house largely independent from commercial supplies (energy, water, sanitation). Benefits exceed costs several times. Thermal and living comfort levels are exceptionally high. The owner-occupier was intensely involved, adapting designs and solutions to personal preference while gaining understanding, familiarity and security with the house.