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Cover page | Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Passive house: economic feasibility and climate protection

Passive house: economic feasibility and climate protection

In developing the Mobile Energy-Saving House "MESH", BASF, one of the world's leading chemical company has created a real showpiece property, which combines the concepts of saving energy and protecting the environment.

MESH in miniature has been introduced all over EuropeMESH in miniature has been introduced all over Europe

MESH is a mobile miniature passive house launched in early 2009 by BASF and five German partners: r-m-p architects, window and door manufacturer Ludwig Häußler, building systems provider Nilan Deutschland, stay-in-place formwork and floor panel manufacturer Lohr Element, and wood element manufacturer inholz.

A passive house can make do without conventional heating or air conditioning, yet it stays cool in summer and warm in winter. Passive houses are not only energy-saving houses but have a palpably better indoor climate than conventional buildings. A current EU Directive stipulates the standard of ‘nearly zero energy buildings' to become the future energy standard for all new buildings. The building style typically includes a seamlessly insulated shell and a refined ventilating and heat recovery system.


Foamed Neopor®: an innovative insulating materialFoamed Neopor®: an innovative insulating material

The energy demand is low: A passive house, as defined by the Passivhausinstitut Darmstadt, Germany has a residual heat demand of 15 kWh per square meter per year for heating, which corresponds to a fuel value of 1.5 liters of heating oil. The total amount of primary energy used for any extra heat, hot water and electricity must not exceed 120 kWh per square meter per year.

The Neopor® is applied to the facade. The craftsman presses firmly on the insulating panel to fix it in place.The Neopor® is applied to the facade. The craftsman presses firmly on the insulating panel to fix it in place.

Highlighted features and main components of the passive house:

  • decorative sound absorbers made from the BASF foam Basotect®, which is lightweight, easy to work with and flame-retardant;
  • solar thermal collectors made by heating engineering manufacturer Viessmann, Germany with Basotect thermal insulation. Basotect shows good insulation properties over a long period, even when exposed to high temperatures;
  • the energy-efficient and economical energeto® window profiles made by the window system manufacturer aluplast, Germany. The tripleglazed window system, which is designed to meet the criteria of the future EnEV 2012 standard, incorporates several BASF products: Two flat strips of the engineering plastic Ultradur® High Speed (PBT: polybutylene terephthalate) are extruded into the profile replacing the conventional thermally conducting metal reinforcement in the frame-sash construction, thus avoiding thermal bridges and making the windows 20 percent lighter;
  • the Isokorb® XT by Schöck, Germany with a core insulation made of Neopor.