First e4 brick house in Austria


Future-oriented model house for sustainable building

In 2012, Wienerberger took an important step towards future housing by finishing the first e4 brick house 2020 in Austria – a future-oriented model house for sustainable construction, using clay blocks with integrated thermal insulation.
First measured data as per June 2014 showed that the e4 brick house exceeds the expecations with regards to its annual balance of electrical energy, but falls short of the expectations regarding the annual thermal balance. The reasons for this are less sunshine at the beginning of 2013 and the room air temperature the residents asked for, which ranges between 22 to 25 degrees. This is about 40% higher than the value calculated in the planning phase which specified a constant room temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

Key Data

Power balance – e4 brick house Austria as per June 2014
The average power consumption of the e4 brick house amounts to approximately 300 kWh per month (power consumption of the scientific monitoring was subtracted out)
From January to the end of April 2014, the solar power unit generated one third more power than the e4 brick house consumed in the same period.
As from February 2014, the 6.5 kWpeak photovoltaic system on the garage rooftop generated more solar electricity than the e4 brick house consumed. In 2013, this result was only achieved in March.
About one fifth of the overall power requirement is consumed by the pump operation required for heat distribution within the e4 brick house.

In March and April 2014, about half of the power consumption was covered by the own solar power system.

Heat balance –  e4 brick house Austria as per June 2014
The installed low-temperature distribution systems (underfloor heating + thermally active walls built of clay blocks) demonstrably increase the arithmetical fraction of solar heat in covering the heating and hot water demand. When increasing the temperature of the supply water for the heat distribution systems from 36 degrees Celsius to 44 degrees Celsius, the solar fraction already drops by 6 percent, as proven in calculations by the AIT team.
In the cold winter months, the solar thermally activated clay block walls were fed with water heated up to 35 degrees Celsius, so that surface temperatures on the plastered clay block walls achieved top values of up to 28 degrees Celsius. The thermal charging of a brick wall segment is done with a thermal output of 200 to 500 Watt.
As from mid-March 2014, the heating supply of the e4 brick house was fully covered with solar heat. In 2013, this was only achieved as from May on.

From October 2013 to January 2014, the following solar fractions of the heat supply were measured:

SFOct = 100%, SFNov = 35,4%, SFDec = 29,7%, SFJan =23,3%

More e4 brick houses to come

Based on this experience in Austria, Wienerberger initiated the next construction projects for brick houses fulfilling “2020 nearly zero energy standards” in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Romania.
Due to the highly advanced brick technology and flexible planning, the e4 brick house is able to meet all the necessary requirements for the use of renewable energy sources, sanitary and other systems at low operating cost and with a low-temperature heating system. The house is designed to produce more energy than it consumes using 100 percent renewable energy resources.
For further information or inspiration please visit the Austrian website.

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