Dilbeek, Belgium, Europe
The construction of a new office based on the passive-house concept resulting in a very high energy performance. The new building contains open-plan offices, cellular offices and meeting rooms. Heating and cooling are provided by a heat pump installation which is connected to a ground-source heat-exchange loop running through an array of deep boreholes that act as a seasonal thermal storage system. Solar gains are reduced by solar protection in the form of screens or overhangs above the windows. Internal heat gains are limited by the use of daylight sensors to dim the lighting during periods of daylight with the knock-on effect of reducing heat produced by the lighting during periods of peak cooling demand. The building is both heated and cooled by a system of thermally-activated concrete in the floor slabs. The fine-tuning of the temperature to the desired level is achieved through pre-cooling or pre-heating the ventilation supply air. Finally there is a system of photovoltaic modules integrated into the EPDM roof that uses solar energy to generate electricity for use in the building.