I attended the Active House Symposium in Brussels on the 24th March. Sponsored by Velux, the conference featured a number of speakers from across Europe talking about a number of interesting concepts relating to homes and housing generally.
There is a website dedicated to the Active House idea, which is to create homes that ‘give back more than they take’ there are a number of case studies on the website of projects across Europe.
There are a number of features of these homes that are worth mentioning:
-concern for human comfort and well being is prioritised over energy management
-the embodied energy of the dwelling is considered to be part of the energy ‘burden’ of the homes
-the homes represent well-lit spaces for living and working from home
-inert materials that are unlikely to create health risks for inhabitants are used
The aim of the Active House group is to set some standards by which these homes can be measured, and to share the experiences across national and cultural boundaries about what represents best practice in human centric homes.