Working systematically in Germany: Hörster, Steinmüller and the Philips Experimental House


The Philips Experimental House (from: Hörster et al))

parallel to the Scandinavian and American developments, a systematic study of energy-efficient buildings was carried out in Germany by H. Hörster (research group leader), B. Steinmüller (building models and simulations) and others, with funding by the Federal Ministry of Research. A super-insulated experimental house, built in 1974/75, equipped with ground heat exchangers, controlled ventilation, solar and heat pump technology and "inhabited" by a computer served as a test and calibration object for computer models, used to explore the opportunities of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. These studies showed potential energy savings by a factor of 10 to 20 with passive measures alone for Europe and America, thus proving that such measures are an important step on the way to energy efficient buildings.

Experiences from this project also were incorporated into Passive House research from the very beginning.