Key design elements and achievements
The Sunlighthouse’s sloping roof and other architectural elements take full advantage of the sun and ensure maximum daylight and solar energy.
The roof and façade windows have been strategically placed not only for stunning views but also to maximise passive solar heat gain and natural ventilation. In addition to providing an unusually high level of daylight, the numerous windows also serve as a central design element. Because the home’s total window area is equivalent to some 51% of its net floor area, very little artificial light is needed during the day, and daylight levels are balanced throughout the home’s two storeys.
With an excellent average daylight factor of at least 5% in all living spaces, the house creates optimal conditions for healthy living.
Automated, intelligent control of the home’s windows is the primary source of ventilation in spring, summer and autumn. In wintertime, the Sunlighthouse uses a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. The home uses no energy for cooling, but stack-effect ventilation through windows, night cooling and awning blinds ensures a comfortable indoor climate throughout the warm summer months. Despite the house being oriented southeast and southwest, the Dorfstetter family did not experience any overheating due to solar gain.
A surplus of renewable energy
With its ultra-efficient brine heat pump for heating, thermal solar collectors for hot water, photovoltaic (PV) solar cell system for electricity, and energy-efficient household appliances, the house is powered exclusively by renewable energy.
The home’s PV solar cells and solar collectors actually generate more energy than the house uses. This means that after 30 years, the home will have generated as much clean energy as was used during its construction, making it truly carbon neutral.
Intelligent ventilation and temperature control
The home’s hybrid natural/mechanical ventilation system adjusts according to the temperature and weather conditions. This means that despite the region’s warm summers, Maison Air et Lumière does not require air conditioning.