RenovActive brings healthy, energy-efficient and affordable renovation to Slovakia

The RenovActive concept offers a simple, innovative and affordable solution to the renovation challenge. It is an example of how to transform European housing into healthy and sustainable living space.


Time for renovation

A house that provides comfortable and healthy living should be affordable and easy to reproduce. These are the main criteria for the RenovActive reconstruction project. Its main goal is to test construction principles of healthy and energy-efficient family houses, which at the same time provide maximum comfort to its inhabitants. The pilot project was implemented in 2016 in Anderlecht, Belgium. In 2019, the demonstration solution was also completed in Slovakia – the first RenovActive project in this area.  The main objective of this concept is to demonstrate the affordability of a renovation that meets the requirements of modern living, including energy efficiency and a healthy indoor environment. RenovActive offers a smart way to significantly improve the quality of living in an ordinary house, in a way that makes it available to a wide segment of the population.
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Photos: Martin Matula Photography

RenovActive in Slovakia

According to the “Buildings 2050” programme, some of the main issues that prevent home-owners in Slovakia from renovating their houses, are issues such as a lack of pilot projects that illustrate; why a complete home-renovation is needed, what it will bring, and how they should proceed.

Slovaks often build and reconstruct by themselves, have only limited support from public resources and lack a systematic advisory tool. The way to overcome these barriers can be the RenovActive concept, which offers Slovak builders experience in the field of complex renovations. RenovActive exemplifies smart practices that are easy to implement and visibly enhance the quality of existing buildings.

RenovActive house Slovakia


The family

The RenovActive Slovakia project was looking for a suitable house and a family. Dozens from all over Slovakia were interested in the reconstruction of their housing. Finally, they were narrowed down to five families, who had to present to a selection committee consisting of VELUX experts and representatives. In the end, the Hučko family from Šaľa was chosen. The family wished to renovate a house into a modernized and environmentally friendly home, that would allow them to enjoy the outdoors.

RenovActive Concept in speed-drawing

Seven elements for affordable climate renovation

3D House model - roof

Attic conversion

Growing from within

Utilizing the upper floor’s potential; this first densification element identifies idle areas and converts them into first class living areas. For an attic conversion the space is designed with daylight in mind, creating more space with plenty of natural lighting, improved ventilation and heat control.

3D House model - windows

Increased window area

Daylight treatment 

Large façade and roof windows increase the level, and inparticular the quality, of daylight. A balanced distribution of windows ensures a pleasant and bright indoor environment with plenty of daylight in every room and on every floor.

3D House model - airflow

Staircase shaft for daylight & ventilation

Respiratory channel 

An open stairwell guarantees enhanced daylight distribution and efficient airing via the stack effect. Daylight is distributed to all floors and central rooms of the home. Furthermore, the stack effect helps to expel humid exhaust air through the roof windows at the top of the staircase, while clean air fills the home via open doors and windows.

3D House model - window blinds

Dynamic sunscreening

3rd skin

A dynamic envelope is vital to ensure good indoor comfort with pleasant temperatures day and night as well as during all seasons, particularly in the shoulder seasons. Dynamic external sun screening, e.g. awning blinds, reduces solar heating during summer.

3D House model - light

Hybrid ventilation system

Hybrid respiration

The hybrid ventilation system combines mechanical and natural ventilation with automated windows and heating. During the summer, windows and stairwell are used to provide natural cooling in the building, e.g. using the stack effect for efficient air replacement. During the winter, mechanical ventilation helps to maintain good indoor air quality and reduce the risk of draught.

3D House model - heating

Improved thermal envelope


The thermal envelope consists of a façade climate shield and a modern heating system, optimizing energy performance and thermal indoor comfort. Work on the façade comprises extra surface insulation, a new roof construction and new windows all around. The upgraded heating system includes floor heating as well as modern radiators on upstairs levels.

3D House model - side building

Building extension 

New life space

Building an extension adds precious square meters to the home and creates room for extra people. An extension is subject to the size of the plot and surrounding terrain.