From Traditional Style to Energy Efficient House

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Information - Energy - Innovation

Phases of Renovation and Research

Assessment and Appraisal
Timetable of Renovation
Renovation of Building Exterior
Renovation of Building Interior
Appraisal of Condition of Building after Renovation
Influence of Resident on Energy and Water Use
Demonstration and Research

Overview of Main Topics

1 Introduction
1.1 The Existence of Mankind and his Well Being is Dependent upon the Supply of Energy
1.2 The Earth and Its Resources
1.3 Energy and Ecology
1.4 Efficient Energy Usage and Healthy Living
2 Assessment and Appraisal of Construction Materials
2.1 Building Exterior - Assessment and Appraisal
2.2 Interior - Assessment and Appraisal
2.3 Timetable of Renovation
3 Renovation of Exterior
3.1 Sealing and Insulation of Foundation
3.2 Renovation of Natural Stone Foundation
3.3 Roof Renovation
3.4 Installation of Windows
3.5 Renovation of Plaster Facade
4 Renovation of Building Interior
4.1 Renovation of Basement
4.2 Disassembly and Renovation of Roof
4.3 Renovation of Ceilings, Floors, and Installation of Floor Heating and Radiator
4.4 Floor Tiles
4.5 Sealing and Air Circulation in the Building
5 Energy and Water Usage in the Building
5.1 Energy Usage
5.2 Water and Rainwater Usage
6 Assessment of Renovation Results
7 Influence of Resident on Power and Water Usage
8 Demonstration and Research

1 Introduction

1. 1 The Existence of Mankind and his Well Being is Dependent on the Supply of Energy

Through the development of housing, man has freed himself from the arbitrary forces of nature such as cold, dampness, and wind. He lives in a heated, lighted, climate-controlled environment protected from the unpredictable whims of Mother Nature. Increasing demand on the functionality of living space and the inefficiency of plumbing and sanitation systems have led to great consumption of valuable natural resources and energy.

Energy is the ability to perform a task. Movement and heat are forms of energy. Physical knowledge imparts us with a great quantity of knowledge of energy. Innovative steps have lead to diverse uses of energy in the areas of industry, transportation, and living.

Information Energy Innovation (IEI) provides examples of efficient energy usage and healthy living environments in buildings. This presentation is also available in video and brochure form. Please refer to the information found at the end of this presentation for details.

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1. 2 The Earth and Its Resources

Even with the aid of solar energy, it took the Earth 500 million years to produce the fossil fuels coal, oil, and natural gas. In just a few centuries, man has depleted the supply of fossil fuels in spite of a lack of adequate replacements.Over 50 percent of the energy from coal, oil, and natural gas are used for heating homes and water. The results of this usage are harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitric oxide.

Only through the energy crisis of 1973 did the awareness spread that oil, natural gas, and coal are natural treasures and must be used responsibly. The crisis spurred an increase in the use of solar power and energy-efficient housing.

The limited nature of the Earth's energy reserves requires innovative treatment. Energy requirements can be significantly reduced through technical and architectural measures. Over ninety percent of all building structures in Germany do not fulfill regulatory insulation code requirements.
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1. 3 Energy and Ecology

An all-inclusive renovation and complete examination of a building encompasses the areas of energy conservation, cost savings, environmental conservation, and healthy living.
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1. 4 Efficient Energy Use and Healthy Living

It required years for architects, industry experts, and scientists to plan and construct a model of an energy efficient and health enhancing building.

A 60-year-old building which met all potential requirements for complete renovation was used. The key selection criteria were the building's exorbitant use of energy and the unhealthy existence of mold and spores caused by moisture in the walls.

The goal of the renovation was to reduce the primary energy use to one-tenth of its previous level and use ecological means to create a healthy living atmosphere.

Energy conservation is achieved through the renovation of the building materials and the use of insulation, fuel burning techniches, solar power and air circulation. The described renovation serves as an example for majority of the renovation project.
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2 Renovation and Appraisal of Construction Materials

2. 1 Building Exterior

Energy consumption data and thermographic measurements give us the first succinct indication about building renovation measures which will be required.

Before beginning the renovation, it is necessary to conduct a complete current state analysis and assessment in order to economically justify the costs associated with the renovation.

A superficial renovation will waste time and effort. The building's exterior is the starting point of the evaluation.

The building's foundation and basement masonry is exposed to view. In general, a large proportion of basement foundations demonstrate inadequacies in the outer walls. Once the foundation walls have been exposed, it is plain to see that water can seep through any cracks in the foundation into the building. Tree and other plant roots have also penetrated the foundation. Rainwater collected along the outer wall and seeped to the bottom of the foundation where it , along with other standing water, seeped through the masonry and accumulated in the basement rooms.

The foundation of the building is made of quarry rock.

Because of the solid, tight structure of the quarry rock, only surface cracks are visible.

Moisture has worked itself deep into the foundation through cracks in the mortar and spaces where the mortar has broken away. Winter cold causes the moisture in the cracks to freeze, which weakens the stonework and reduces its ability to bear weight.

The external stonework of the first and second floors consists of a double layer of brickwork. The South and East facades are plastered with a lime cement mortar, upon which natural stone gravel has been applied. The plaster is quite dirty. Uneven settling of the base of the foundation caused cracks running from the stone base along the ground level to the window sills.

The North and West facades are slated. The structure of the slate has been considerably damaged by rain, frost and air pollutants. Moisture has seeped through the slate into the underlying wood structure, which has rotted through in numerous places. The moisture has seeped further into the stonework and penetrated the inner plaster and the wall paper. Renovation of the slate facade doesn't make any sense.

The windows in the building clearly show evidence of sub-professional installation and insufficient and improper care, which resulted in rotting. Paint has partially peeled off. Water has seeped in through the cracked layers of paint, causing further rotting of the window wood in many places

The roof has been especially exposed to weather damaging. The tin sheet metal is rusted through in places, allowing water to seep into the underlying construction of the roof, the walls, and the ceiling.

The chimney is only partly plastered and there are many cracks in the stone work. The water seal between the chimney and the tin sheet metal roof leaks. Subsequently moisture penetrates the building in these places, causing mold and rotting near the stones and the roof trusses.

The walkway and ledges around the gable are made from various materials. The sheet metal profile is rusted through and the support capacity of the wooden body is minimal because of rotting.

The joints between the roof structure and the roof's sheet metal and the overhang of the house doors show considerable damage and leakage, which have allowed moisture to penetrate into the building, causing further damage.

Der Dachstuhl vor der Sanierung und nach der Sanierung
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2. 2 Interior - Assessment and Appraisal

The diagram shows that water has seeped into the basement. The interior plaster in the wall has separated itself from the masonry. Bubbling and spoilage has caused the near disintegration of the integrity interior plaster.
The water and moisture seepage has caused rust on metal parts, wood rot in the window frames and doors, and mold and spores in the basement and ground floor to form.   

The high level of humidity in the basement has permeated the surrounding walls, ceilings, and the living area on the ground level.

The basement and ground floor stairways are made of wood and have been directly exposed to the humidity from the basement. Every part of the stairs, as well as wooden doors and hallways on each floor have been weakened so much by wood worms that they must be replaced.

The attic had been partially renovated so that it could be used as a living space. The surrounding walls, ceiling and floor no longer meet current construction codes.

The roof slopes are resting on rafters and in between is 11.5 centimeters of pumice. The insulation is insufficient.

The rafters are in good condition and will be kept. The top-most roof tiles near the chimney will be replaced. Only the roof trusses, which were weakened by wood worms in certain places, must be partially replaced.    

The unfinished section of the attic could be used as a living area.

One of the two existing chimneys is not repairable and must be torn out.

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2. 3 Timetable of Renovation

A comprehensive universal renovation should also examine the possibility of creating additional living and functional areas. This renovation will result in an office, a meeting room, a bathroom, and meeting room for demonstrations and research purposes in the basement.

The top floor is for the most part unfinished.     Finishing the top floor and attic will create a flat (apartment) on those levels. A circular staircase will connect the attic level to the rafter level..

Creating the separate levels necessitates the alteration of the exterior facade. The roof flat requires additional windows. The basement will be provided with a separate entrance.

The implementation of renovation plans is based on the building's current status and appraisal.

Renovation work requires a significant material and cost investment. Therefore, renovation planning decisions should be based on a solid technical and architectural foundation. Analysis of the contruction materials offers concrete directions for the methods of renovation employed.

Samples of the contruction materials which were tested in laboratories and moisture measurements which were made on location provide indications that isolation of this moisture will need to be a necessary step in the renovation process. The testing also indicates that specific materials should be used.

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3 Renovation of the Building's Exterior

3. 1 Sealing and Insulation of the Basement Stone Work

Clay particles and plants have penetrated deeply into the stone work. These components and loosened mortar must be removed by a high pressure water hose and subsequently swept up with a broom.

The basis for additional renovation work is the correction of areas where larger amounts of settling of the stonework foundation have occured and the application of an additional layer of sealing morter.

Different work steps in the area of the foundation floor seal off the cracks between the foundation and the ascending stonework.

The thick layers which were applied prevent moisture from entering the building.

An insulation greatly reduces the amount of heat that escapes from the building.

Moisture protection strips protect the insulation from wettness in the soil. The water runs along the outside of the protection strips down through a drain layer and is diverted into a drainage pipe.
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3. 2 Renovation of the Natural Stone Foundation

Cracks and pieces of broken-off morter throughout the stone work indicate that loose morter must be removed.

Removing bubbling and loose pieces from the outer surface is accomplished either with high pressure water or with a sandblaster.

The stone work will be filled in with a special mortar.

After four weeks setting time, the water proofing used in the stonework is set. The amount of water seepage will be closely monitored to determine the quality of the seal.

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3. 3 Roof Renovation

Near the gable and the eaves, the outer plaster is directly connected to the roof area. Therefore, it is advisable to renovate the chimney top, roof ceiling, the ledges, the walkways, and the roof's drainage system next.

The tin roofing is then removed and insulating wood fiber sheets are mounted. The sheets also serve as a shell for the insulation that will be laid between the rafters. Nailed slats will form the support for the roofing tiles. Special tiles make it possible to connect the solar panels directly with the roof's structure.

Plastic paneling replaces the brittle paneling on the walkways and the eaves of the building.

The section of the chimney exposed above the roof was renovated and covered with slate.

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3. 4 Installing the Windows

The existing window frames are rotted through and the insulation is insufficient.

The new windows, made from German pine, should follow the structure of the original windows for architectural reasons and should significantly increase insulation capabilities.

Special properties of the new window glass allow it to use the sun's energy. During the heating period more solar energy enters the building than heat escapes through the glass out of the building. The two-layered glass increases its insulation power by three to four times that of a single-layered glass. The triple-layered glass installed on the north side of the building increases the insulation to 12 times that of the old window glass.
The durability of the windows depends on how professionally they are installed. It is important that no condensation develop between the window frame and the stonework, because constant moisture leads to rotting of the wood. Next, the windows' vertical supports will be cleaned in order to produce a smooth surface.

Adhesive sealing strips on the window frames give lasting protection against invading moisture from outside and inside that would lead to rotting of the window frame.

In the next years, the presence of moisture or heat loss between the window frames and the stonework will prove the necessity of using the air-tight strips.

Once the window frames have been properly aligned they are anchored to the stonework with mollies.

The sealing stripes provide warmth protection and nestle securely between the window frame and the stonework.

The silicon caulking forms a seal and further prevents the penetration of water vapor.

The wood that was chosen has good insulation and ecological properties. It is easy to work with and because of its natural properties, it provides aesthetic and architectural advantages.
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3. 5 Plaster Facade Renovation

The next step of the renovation process is to clean the facade. Air pollution and loose pieces of plaster are removed. Then every corner of the building gets a plaster splint.
The plaster splints protect the corners from damage, and at the same time help to make the plaster thick and even. These special sections protect the building corners, door, and window edges.

A special salt-absorbing plaster will be applied onto the cleaned plaster surface. This serves to neutralize the salt in the outer layer of the plaster facade.

After a sufficient binding period a 10-centimeter thick layer of insulating plaster will be applied to the salt-absorbing plaster in a two-layer process. This layer of plaster provides good insulation due to the high quantity of air bubbles it contains.

An additional surface plaster, very durable in nature, is added to protect the insulating layer from damage and moisture.

A layer of paint will also protect the plaster from moisture and provides the proper aesthetic finish.

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4 Renovation of the Building Interior

4. 1 Basement Renovation

Because the basement will house a scientific laboratory, a conference room and an office, high demands are placed on the quality of the renovation. The interior plaster and partial concrete flooring must be removed because of the poor nature of the construction materials.

A layer of concrete will the secure loose and broken stones near the base of the foundation.

The installed drainage system leads water out of the building and into a reservoir. The entire floor will be given a gravel layer covered in foil to serve as a drainage layer.

The concrete flooring applied on top consists of watertight concrete. An additional moisture barrier protects the floors heating system which will be laid over the concrete.

The interior walls are made of brick and are thoroughly saturated with moisture. A drilling procedure should inhibit the increase of moisture in the walls.

Now the stonework is sealed from the base until the level of the drill holes. Hydrophobic liquid poured into funnels attached to the injection tubes penetrates the stonework walls through the drilled holes.

The walls should be cleaned before plastering.

A special salt neutralizing plaster is applied that will bind existing and subsequent salt.

This special layer of plaster also serves to secure the aesthetic top layer.

A subsequently applied fine plaster seals off the plaster work.

Additional renovation of the laboratory and restroom includes drywall. The floor and ceiling areas are now fitted with sheet metal anchored with screws. The vertical elements and door frames are mounted at this time.

After the metal work and the installation module, both sides are planked with special sheets.

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4. 2 Extension and Renovation of Upper Level

The living area in the top floor will be enlarged by the extension. The ceiling will be extended to allow for use of more of the upper level of the top floor. An additional room will be added over the top floor.

The existing rafters prove to be of high quality. They will be reinforced to withstand the added burden of solar collectors, tiles, sheet metal, insulation and finishing.

The roof insulation is completely insufficient. Based on construction and statistical reasons we decide to remove the pumice and to install new insulation which surpasses the requirements of the Insulation Protection Order of 1995.

Cracks in the roof slopes and the windows are eliminated before the insulation is introduced.

Sections of metal are screwed into the rafters to provide a foundation for the interior. A large space is left between the interior wall and the sheet metal that constructs the roof to be filled with insulating.

The small pieces of insulating material fill up uneven spaces in the rafters and surround objects such as the pipes running between the rafters.

The transfer of heat between the rafters is inhibited by this insulating material.

The insulation will be applied either through manual pouring or by using a blowing machine.

The living area is only partly finished. New walls to separate the rooms will be built from sound proof sheets with porous concrete. Near the ceiling the stones will be lead in a U-Profile made from sheet metal.

Parts of the stone work near the timber work had to be partially replaced. Porous concrete fits well into the odd shapes and provides heat insulation and sound-proofing.

A layer of insulation added to the stairwell walls prohibits warmth from escaping from the living area into the stairwell.

Ceilings, as well as old and new walls, are fitted with drywall.

Light separating walls are chosen to create the rooms that will be used as bathrooms and toilette rooms. A metal framework is anchored to the floor and ceiling.

Pipes for freshwater and sewage, and the supports for the sinks are installed inside the metal wall frames.

Mounted special plates serve as the appropriate foundation for tiling.

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4. 3 Renovation of the Ceilings, Floors, and Installation of In-floor Heating and Radiators

The floor of the top and ground levels has a "double-t" construction with a layer of porous concrete in between. A 4-cm thick layer of insulation serves as a sound barrier for tread noise. A soft-fibered surface covers the noise insulation and is also the bottom layer for the in-floor heating element.

In order to fulfill research purposes, various types of floorboard and attic heating systems were installed.

The in-floor heating system, suitable for dry attics, consists of stiff foam layers on conductive aluminum sheets in which copper pipes will be laid in pre-made channels. The heat travels from the pipes through the well-conducting aluminum sheets to the drywall where it is transferred to the floor tiling.

Cement-bound attic plates, laid in two layers serve as the constructive and physical requirements for a dry attic.

The in-floor heating system chosen for the tiled section consists of stiff foam layers with plastic pipes in the channels.
The tiles that are subsequently added completely enclose the pipes so that a good transfer of warmth to the flooring tiles is accomplished

The building is equipped with both in-floor and radiator heating out of research requirements. However, the heating requirements of the house could have been achieved with either system.
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4. 4 Floor Tiles

After preparing the top layer of the tiled section of the attic the tiles are laid using a glue that is suited for floor heating systems. The tiles are designed to conduct heat and ensure a healthy living environment.

Wallpapering and paints that allow diffusion are required to satisfy the physical properties desired from the walls and ceilings.

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4. 5 Sealing and Air Circulation in the Building

The Blower Door method is used to inspect the building's seal. Leaks in the walls, roof and ceilings that could lead to the loss of heat and damage of the structure can in this way be located and filled by an exterior layer of plaster before the internal renovation has been completed.

For research purposes, three different stationary circulation systems are installed.

Window casements that open and close allow for the necessary exchange of air.

Circulation systems that utilize heat recapturing make use of a portion of the energy from the interior air. The controlled exchange of air flows through from the system in a radial bladder. In a cross-plated heat exchanger, the air entering the building is warmed by the interior escaping from the building.

The third type of circulation system does not conserve heat and is installed near the windows.

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5 Energy and Water Use in the Building

5. 1 Energy Use

Solar panels and Caloric technology are available for the production of warmth energy for the heating and the hot water supply, save energy and relieve the burden on the environment.

Solar panels are mounted on the roof facing to the south. Solar panels should be oriented southward on the roof. Heat from the solar panels collects in the heat accumulator in the basement where it remains available to heat water and rooms, the in-floor heating systems and radiators.

A pipe with a 10-centimeter diameter should be installed through the chimney for exhaust purposes. .

A large portion of the heat created through the burning of combustibles in old oil and gas heaters is lost through the chimney. Caloric heaters reuse a portion of the exhaust heat. Steam in the exhaust condenses in the process, the condensation is then directed into the channel.
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5. 2 Water Use and the Safe Use of Rainwater

Separate distributors for warm water, cold water, and measuring equipment area installed in each level of the building. In this way, each resident can control his or her own usage.

The toilets in the building use rainwater to flush. Pipes lead rainwater into a renovated container. A pressure pump in the plumbing system between the rainwater collector and the individual toilet tanks then refills the toilet tank from the container as needed.

50 percent less fresh water is used, and the sewage system and sewage plants have less of a burden.

Further benefits of using rainwater appear outside the building. Rainwater seeps through the corresponding underground honeycombing to provide for a green lawn surrounding the building.

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6 Evaluation of Renovated Condition of Building

The exterior of the building and the grounds are now finished.

The ground floor rooms fulfill the proper conditions for a meeting room, laboratory and office.

The ground floor is rebuilt and a comfortable living atmosphere has been created.

Building on to the upper level transformed it into an attractive bi-level apartment.

7 Influence of Residents on energy and Water Usage
Preserving the environment through energy and water conservation in buildings is a well-known theme. This renovated building fulfills the requirements of a low level energy-using structure because of its insulation and energy utilization systems. Through the measuring and control systems, the residents can attain information about the temperature of the rooms and the energy and water usage levels. This allows them have a dramatic influence on the temperature of the rooms, especially in their absence or at night.

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8 Demonstration and Research

After appraising the results of the differential pressure tests and thermographic photographs taken during the finishing stages and after the project's completion the heat bridges are identified and eliminated
The measuring equipment installed in the building allow measurements of the temperature, moisture, radiation, volumetric currents, electrical energy and pressure of the physical spaces to be captured. The measurements provide a thorough evaluation of the building and offer a scientific basis for optimizing the renovation and the system.

The measurements from each floor are transferred through a socket system to a measurement collection unit. The prepared data can be accessed from here.

The environmental measurements from the local weather station, such as temperature, humidity, wind, and solar radiation are available for comparative analytical purposes.

Utilizing the documentation from the renovation and the research results, scientists and industry experts can assess and optimize energy processes in buildings as well as construction and physical concepts
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With a single click you can order a video cassette documenting the renovation.

A brochure about the renovation project that includes the first research results is currently being developed and can be ordered upon completion.

To order contact :



Stachstückstraße 28

57482 Wenden



e-mail: info@

Tel.: +49 2762 / 2258

Fax: +49 2174/786270

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