Comfort meets tradition: Thanks to intelligent networking, this wooden house has become a cosy smart home.
A coating of dark paint reaching from the floor to the very tip of the roof decorates the exterior of this traditional wooden home in the upper Bergisches Land region. But this unusual external decor is not the only thing that sets this family home apart: It is also kitted out with intelligent building technology. Behind the sleek façade, a system of components works together to achieve KfW Efficiency House 55 standards. There are various standards for KfW Energy Houses, as indicated by the number in their name. The number 55 corresponds to the building's energy consumption in per cent compared to a similar new-build construction. The lower the number, the lower the energy consumption of the property and the higher the subsidy awarded by the KfW bank. Owner Alexandra Schmitz made a deliberate decision to opt for a wooden home with a black façade. The construction is supported by 24-centimetre-thick posts, the structure of which remains visible through the dark paint. The wooden house is designed to blend in with the typical architecture of the region, with its dark slate houses with white window frames.
The 116 square metres of living space is equally well thought-out. All areas on the ground floor – with the exception of the bathroom, office and technical room – are combined into a large, open-plan living space.
The intelligent features of this somewhat "different" wooden house run almost completely in the background. A KNX system from Gira bundles all the components of the building technology and brings together all of the relevant data via the Gira HomeServer. Thanks to this powerful on-board computer, the residents can control all of their electrical installations via a smartphone or tablet app and keep an eye on all functions, consumption and energy values – even when they are not at home. Automatic functions and individual scenes can also be called up in each room using the Gira pushbutton sensors. For example, the system can switch off all lights, Gira radios and standby appliance sockets at the touch of a single button. The status light on the button also shows if any windows or doors have been left open in the house.
In the living area, the users can see which windows are open – and close them if necessary – via the multifunctional Gira G1 central operating unit. Other functions of the connected technology can also be controlled intuitively using the large multi-touch display, from programming timers and scenes and adjusting lighting, blinds and room temperature to opening the front door or checking the weather forecast.
The three solar panels – which are installed in a virtually invisible position on the roof – generate heat energy for a water tank, which provides system water and supplies the underfloor heating. The owner had a small boiler installed to provide additional heat on particularly cold days. A connected thermostat detects when the defined maximum temperature has been reached so that a second heat exchanger can use the solar energy to warm up the outdoor pool. The modern property is also kitted out with countless other smart, automated functions to ensure that it uses resources as effectively and economically as possible – so that the traditional wooden house meets the highest standards of comfort and convenience, security and energy efficiency.
Barely visible, three solar thermal fields on the roof generate thermal energy for a water tank that supplies both the service water and the underfloor heating. For particularly cold days, the building owner has also had a small gas boiler installed. A networked thermostat detects when the defined maximum temperature is reached. This means that a second heat exchanger can use the solar energy to heat the outdoor pool. Numerous other intelligent and automated functions in this modern home help to ensure that all resources are used in an economically effective manner.
For example, the wooden house in its traditional form meets the highest demands for living and operating comfort, safety and energy efficiency.
Photos: Ulrich Beuttenmüller for Gira