Buildings or developments that display best practice outcomes in energy efficiency, are powered by renewable energy, and as such have been verified and certified as "net zero energy and/or carbon" projects.
In 2011, a detached house built in Mühltal outside Darmstadt in the 1970s became the first of its kind to be restored and converted into an ‘surplus energy’ house complete with electric vehicle technology. Following the redevelopment, the building generates more energy than it requires. But this was not achieved by cramming the house full of new technology. It adheres to the highest interior standards and has a classic, timeless feel about it. It was possible to make the house carbon-neutral by minimising its energy use thanks to 360° rock wool insulation and new windows. Air exchange is kept to a minimum by a central ventilation unit equipped with a heat recovery system. A key aspect of this concept is renewable energy. To provide heating, an air and water heat pump is used. The house is also fitted with a wood-burning stove and a heat exchanger. The rooms are heated with low-temperature underfloor panels. Any electricity required to operate the systems in the house is supplied by a solar energy unit on the roof.
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“Any electricity required to operate the systems in the house is supplied by a solar energy unit on the roof.”