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ECOWEEK 2010 WORKSHOP (13-20 March 2010)

Designing a Green Passive Solar House of Zero Emissions

Location: Thission, Athens, Greece
Status: Design proposal
Area: 215 sq.m.

Workshop team:
Danai Frantzi-Gounari, Architect
Athina Katgivlastou, Architect
Irini-Emilia Ioannidou, Architect
Rozita Konidari, student of Architcture (NTUA)
Vissarion Konidaris, Civil Engineer
Tanya Saroglou, Architect

Pavlos Diamantouros, Mechanical Engineer
Harris A. Tessas, Economist

Part of the ECOWEEK 2010 program was the organization of design Workshops that took place in 20 architectural practices. ZEREFOS TESSAS ARCHITECTS was invited to participate in the Workshops and accommodated a team of six young architects guiding them through the design of a zero emissions house. The main target was to produce in 3 days, a building which achieves maximum reduction of its energy needs through passive design strategies using hybrid systems to cover ancillary needs.

The site is located in the housing zone of the Thisio district, in central Athens. It is situated between two existing buildings opposite the Hill of the Nymphs and its facade has a Southern orientation. During recent excavations, a mosaic was discovered on the NE corner of the site, dating back to the 1st century AD which influenced the building design.

The building program includes an artistís workshop and living quarters. It was decided to preserve the discovered mosaic on the site and create a public space on ground level allowing passers by to visit. In this way it was decided that a steel structure with reinforced concrete slabs would not pose as an obstacle for passing through and around the whole site.

Insulation is a crucial part of the project in order to limit the energy consumption. Therefore the building envelope is covered with a thick layer of insulation. A double skin facade is placed on the southern elevation consisting of an overhang and movable wooden louvers added in front of a system of operable windows controlling sunlight and solar gains.

Cooling is achieved through the use of cross ventilation, ceiling fans and night cooling whereas solar radiation provides part of the needs for passive heating. Similarly, a gambian wall structure at the basement pre-cools the external air and directs it through a shaft near the staircase to all of the building levels.

Finally, rainwater is collected in a storage tank, as well as grey water (sink and washing machine water) and after it has been treated it is reused for secondary purposes.

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