Ultimate DIY: Swedish Eco-Store Builds Posh "Passive" House

DIY Passive House photo
Looking a little like a wedge of hard cheese, this modernistic Swedish passive house is perched on a rock and with a view of the sea in the southeastern Swedish hamlet of Trosa.

Passive house combines eco-techniques and "modern" design
Trosa is a bit off the beaten path for a department store devoted to the most ecological building supplies, which is perhaps why Ekologiska Byggnvaruhus undertook its own building project. The Trosa house needs has no radiators and not even a conventional heat pump. Solar panels help to warm the south-facing house, with lighting and recycled body and water warmth stored in an accumulator supposed to supply most of the rest of space heating requirements (a wood-burning stove is on standby for really cold days. Though it looks roomy, the living space comprises just 120 square meters - small by average American, though not necessarily TreeHugger standards.

Swedish Passive House 2 photo
Super thick flax fiber insulation
The Trosa house must have extensive insulation in order to hold heat - and uses Isolina insulation made of flax fiber and recycled plastic with no formaldehyde or CFCs (the insulation is biodegradable, the company says). The walls are then reinforced and plastered with a thick clay layer and painted with natural pigments.

A greenhouse and a luxurious outdoor shower
The architect Anna Webjörn and project manager Eric Hedenstedt (the department store's owner) were going for a very modern, luxurious feel, Hedenstedt said, though using some old-fashioned materials like the clay plaster. Hedenstedt says the clay will breathe and help to balance moisture in the house's indoor climate. However, the flax insulation requires Hedenstedt and his workers to be extremely careful in sealing the walls so that excessive moisture can't penetrate.

Not just a marketing catalog, also a life passion
Hedenstedt hasn't published figures on exactly how much the Trosa house has cost to build. He has said that people have said it is crazy to spend so much time and money on a showplace for Ekologiska Byggvaruhus' products. But Hedenstedt is passionate about the house and displaying green building supplies in a modern setting. He will test all the systems in the Trosa house for a full year by living in it, and let the public in to look at all the features before putting it on the market. It might be a little hard to decorate, however, as there are very few right angles. Via: Byggindustrin (Swedish)

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Ultimate DIY: Swedish Eco-Store Builds Posh "Passive" House
Passive house combines eco-techniques and "modern" design Trosa is a bit

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