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In Lustenau, near Bregenz, be baumschlager eberle have erected a manifesto against technology overkill in modern buildings. The walls have been given a smooth lime plaster finish on both sides, and the architects hope that with the passing of time the outside plaster will become harder and more dirt-repellent under the action of the sun. Scope A passive house is an extremely energy-efficient building with year-round comfortable interior conditions. Definition A passive house aims at a very low non-renewable energy demand compared to contemporary national standards.
Technology All decisions made in the design and construction process are directly related to both life-cycle economic and environmental impacts.
If you know how air conditioners work, you already know a little about how heat pumps work. Simply put, a heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another. One of the biggest advantages of a heat pump over a standard heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) unit is that there's no need to install separate systems to heat and cool your home.
The house came into service in November 2009 and it has been fully used by the family since then.
The household only uses one type of power to run the house - electric power; the house is equipped with standard electric appliances, including a drier requiring 2300 W power demand.
The residential space counts with hot-air fireplace (without hot air distribution to all rooms) to be constructed in the future. Originally, the investor wanted to fit an electric current load alleviator, type HJ 306, that disconnects heating circuits in two priorities, if needed. Although it is a standard house from the architectonic perspective, the investor did not choose commonly used standard hot-water heating system. Both heating technology systems ECOFLOOR and ECOFILM have been installed into floor or ceiling structure, respectively. User comfort of the heat supply results from the functions of selected large-area systems ECOFLOOR and ECOFILM. On the first floor, floor structure is installed by the so-called wet process - the supporting board is grouted from anhydrite self-nivelling substance. On the second floor, the floor structure is made of wood and therefore the designer proposed electric ceiling heating by means of the ECOFILM system. The output needed is installed by a certain number and length of different stripes of the ECOFILM foil, interconnected mutually by conductors.
Heating is regulated, as a temporary solution, by means of room thermostats EuroThermo 099-ECO2, fitted in every room. The layout, including composition of vertical and horizontal structures Design for both systems, incl.
Direct-venting or side wall vent chimney and flue systems are a method of venting the exhaust gases from a heating appliance directly out through the side wall of a building while eliminating the need for a vertical chimney of any sort.
For safe and clean sidewall venting of oil fired heating equipment the vent system incorporates a power vent fan to assure that gases leave the building side wall with sufficient velocity to avoid sooting or otherwise harming the wall.
The system, such as Tjernlund's SIDESHOT® series of power vents draws outdoor air thorough the outer passage(s) of a multi-walled vent plenum, cooling the exhaust gases as they pass through the vent. Watch out: the photograph above illustrates an unsafe thorough-wall vent for an oil fired heating appliance.
Our photo above shows an Energy Kinetcs oil fired heating boiler vented using an OEM direct vent system.
To repair this mistake the installer will have to disassemble the entire vent system, and either remove a bit of masonry block from the bottom of the present wall opening or change the interior flue vent connector piping to slightly raise the inside end of the through wall vent - one or the other - to obtain proper condensate slope and condensate handling on this equipment. Exhaust or venting of heating appliances may be horizontal, direct through a building side wall, or vertical, up through the building roof. Direct Venting uses a power ventilating blower or fan (and in some models a heat exchanger plenum to cool outgoing gases passing through the building wall (sidewall direct exhaust) or roof or through an existing unused chimney through which a vent pipe is passed (vertical direct exhaust). Direct exhaust venting draws combustion air from the utility room or boiler room around the heating appliance and vents appliance exhaust out through a building sidewall or through the roof using an approved or listed B-vent, metal chimney, or similar materials.
Sidewall direct exhaust uses a B-vent or other listed or approved metal or even plastic flue vent connector and metal chimney materials to vent outgoing combustion gases through a building side wall (sidewall direct vent).
A blower or power vent draws combustion air in to the heater and a power vent pushes exhaust gases out through a separate or dedicated exhaust flue.
The heating appliance vents directly out through a building side wall, powered by natural draft provided by the heating equipment, typically using a single wall metal flue or chimney or a B-vent.
Vertical direct exhaust is a similar installation to the sidewall direct exhaust vented vertically, typically up through the building roof.
Watch out: don't confuse direct vent heating equipment with the through-wall venting and air intake of high efficiency boilers and furnaces.
What's the Difference Between Venting a High Efficiency Condensing Boiler or Furnace or Water Heater with a Mid-range or Conventional Heating Boiler, Furnace, or Water Heater?
In comparing the venting of exhaust gases from a high efficiency furnace, boiler or water heater with the venting of exhaust gases from a conventional heating system it will be immediately obvious that the high efficiency equipment exhaust is produced at a low-enough temperature that it is vented through comparably small-diameter plastic piping rather than a cooled, fire-protected metal heating vent. What can be confusing is that some mid-range efficiency heating equipment may vent through a (larger diameter, say 4") plastic heater vent referred to as HTPV (high temperature plastic vent) chimneys.
We illustrate an HTPV system at below left and a high efficiency plastic direct vent system at below right (Image courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates). In a table below we provide a complete list of required clearance distances between the air intake or combustion gas exhaust vents for direct vented heating appliances.
The exhaust vent terminal shall be located at least 3-feet above any forced air inlet located within 10-feet. The vent terminal shall be at least 12-inches below, 12-inches horizontally from, or 12-inches above, any door, window, or gravity air inlet into a building. The vent terminal shall be installed a minimum of 14-inches from any obstruction and 3-feet from an inside corner of an L-shaped structure (see table below).
See CLEARANCE DISTANCE, HVAC where a reader commented that his building inspector did not accept the safety of the installation shown below. I googled a€?carbon monoxide plastic flue roof top side housea€? and came across your website with relevant information.
Direct vent gas vent clearance required depend in part on the size in BTUs (BTUH or thousands of BTUs per hour input rating) of the heating appliance.
For a typical gas fired water heater, the distance from the vent outlet to some building features are a bit different depending on whether your home is in Canada or the U.S. Specifications for direct vent and condensing boiler vents may specify that the vent line slopes to indoors where condensate is to be disposed-of at an interior condensate handling system or drain, or they vent may be required to slope to the outside. Our illustration at left shows the plastic pipes of two types of direct vent heating appliances protruding through a building sidewall.
We can tell from the height above ground that the heaters are most likely located in the building basement. The pair of plastic lines in the left of the photo are an air intake (the shorter protruding plastic pipe) and exhaust vent outlet (the longer plastic outlet pipe). Watch out: We can also see that as with the gas appliance power vent shown in the previous section, this high efficiency heating system condensate is also not being properly drained from the left hand condensing heater - instead of condensate running back into the building and into a building drain, this pipe is sloped so that condensate runs out of the end of the plastic vent line.
The problem with this arrangement becomes evident in cold weather as condensate freezes and the ice formed can actually block the safe venting of exhaust gases. Watch out: Ice formation at sidewall vents is not the only cold weather hazard for this equipment. Blocking the combustion air intake or exhaust outlet by accumulated snow, ice, or even shrubs or piled leaves can result in dangerous. The vent and combustion air terminations shall be checked periodically, at least at the start of each heating season, for restriction or blockage from foreign material in the exhaust vent or in the air intake piping.
Terminations must also be kept clear of any leaves, weeds, combustible materials, snow, and ice build-up. In geographical areas with considerable snowfall, it is advisable to locate the vent terminal much higher than the minimum 12-inches above ground to prevent blockage by snow accumulation or drifting.
For at least some heating appliances and manufacturers, and to solve vent clearance difficulties when your installation cannot meet the specifications in the Gas Code, manufacturers' specifications, or local building codes, roof vent termination kits are available.
Notice that the illustration (left) of roof-vent termination of direct-vent appliance air intake and exhaust does not show the necessary flashing & sealing to avoid roof leaks.
The combustion air intake shall be installed upwind of the vent outlet when exposed to prevailing winds.

Watch out: when chimneys or vents pass through building floors and roofs above, additional fires stopping may be required.
When impractical, choose a location that protects the vent from strong winds, such as behind a fence or hedge. Comment: Keep hedges, fencing, or other wind barriers far enough away from the air intake vent to avoid obstructing air intake, and keep hedges far enough away to avoid plant injury from the heat of exhaust gases. Avoid locating the vent terminal over areas where dripping of condensate, or small pools of acidic condensate, could create a problem.
Weil Mc-Lain [10], Thermo Products [15] and other manufacturers warn that if the heating appliance is in an area where local indoor-area-supplied combustion air is likely to be contaminated the installer must pipe an outdoor combustion air supply to the heating boiler (or other heating appliance) combustion air intake port. Combustion air that is contaminated with corrosives can damage the boiler by corroding the heat exchanger or other components. Other combustion air contaminants that are flammable or themselves combustible could lead to an actual fire or explosion.
If your building contains any of these or other corrosive or explosive products and if you cannot remove them from the locale, an outside combustion air supply must be piped to the heating appliance air intake. Watch out: also make sure that the combustion air supply outdoors is not itself close to a source of corrosive or explosive materials. Direct sidewall vent heating appliance manufacturers & products can be listed here at no fee. The equipment includes a multi-walled plenum that uses outdoor air to cool the exhaust gases as they pass through the building wall, and can be installed with zero clearance to combustible materials such as wall studs or siding. This equipment can safely vent heating appliances up to 315K BTUH (with a flame retention oil burner. Listed special gas vent systems that comply with UL-1738 & UL S636 and in Canada, certified by CSA are the only vent systems that can be used with Weil Mc-Clain's CGs heating boilers. This topic has moved to DIRECT VENT INSTALLATION, SNAFUS & SPECS - live link given just below. Continue reading at DIRECT VENT INSTALLATION, SNAFUS & SPECS or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110-6794 Tel: 800-255-4208, provides SS2 SideShot Wall Vent System. Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore. The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors.
When you consider that most central heating and air conditioning systems are design to last, on average, 15-17 years and that they’ll run better and usually longer with regular maintenance.
The problem is, despite its reliability, a catastrophic failure of your furnace could occur at any time, and the only way to prevent that type of disaster is with regular inspections of your heating system. If you live in Aurora, or the surrounding areas, the last thing you want it for your air conditioner to go out on you during the dog days of summer, or worse yet, for you heating system to die on you during the dead of winter. Regular furnace tune ups also help reduce the chances of heating equipment malfunction and costly repairs.
A Passive House provides three major benefits for its users High thermal comfort and excellent indoor air quality, independent on outdoor conditions (climate, air pollution, noise) Lower and more stable energy bills Robust, long-living (durable) solutions that require little maintenance.
Heat pumps also work extremely efficiently, because they simply transfer heat, rather than burn fuel to create it.
Before switchboard was mounted, special attention was paid to even load distribution of each phase. Load alleviator has not been installed and current experience by the household indicates it is not needed. Heating foils ECOFILM, type C, are installed on the second floor, under the plasterboard ceiling structure. Costs of the material of electric piping and other electric wiring components were included in total electric wiring costs and were not monitored separately. There are zero requirements for special maintenance; maintenance and servicing is the same as in standard home electric installations. In classic central heating where hot-water radiator is the source of heat in the room, heat is distributed from one high-temperature place from which heat is spread by means of hot-air circulation and the room is heated from the ceiling downwards (the same applies to most electric wall appliances). Length and number of the stripes and their area or length capacity were designed in such a way so that their heat flow would provide optimum shading for cold radiation of peripheral and roof structures in the room and so that it would cover the living area to maximum extent, to provide for even heating of the area.
Before next heating season starts, central regulation of own production will be installed, permitting to read consumption and running duration of the heat technology in each room in detail. We include for comparison, low temperature side wall vent systems used by high efficiency or condensing boilers, furnaces & water heaters.
Gas or oil fired side wall power venters are provided by several manufacturers listed at the end of this article. If you (click to) enlarge the photo you will also see some interesting reverse thermal tracking effects marking the wall studs. The stained wall photo (photo at left ) shows what can happen at a direct-vented high-efficiency heating boiler if the vent is not properly sloped through the wall. Combustion air for heating boilers or furnaces is drawn from outdoors through a dedicated air intake pipe or duct (the small diameter pipe in the pair at left of our photo below).
Combustion air is provided to the heating appliance from the space surrounding the equipment. This heater venting system, typically for gas fired boilers, is used only by certain heating appliance models such as Weil-McLain's CGs boilers. Both types of heating systems can vent horizontally through a building wall, but the exhaust products of high efficiency or condensing boilers and furnaces are generally cool and have different venting and combustible cleareance specifications. Illustration adapted from Thermo Products installation instructions - click to enlarge this or any other image or photo at InspectAPedia.
For non-direct vent applications such as the side-wall vent appliance shown earlier on this page, the required distance is much greater: 4 feet to the side or below the opening, or 1 foot above the opening. In direct vent applications, this clearance distance must be in compliance with local building codes, the requirements of the fuel gas supplier for the heating appliance in use, and the appliance manufacturer's instructions. This is the author's OPINION based on other clearance distances and standards discussed in the article above.
Separately, if a different compressure unit desigh caused the unit's exhaust to blow into the gas heater exhaust vent, that could prevent safe venting of exhaust gases.
I have a question below, and please let me know if there is a fee for answer and what is the fee. We marked on your gas vent photo the two measurements that are typically made: the vertical distance to the window and the horizontal distance to the window from the nearest point of the gas vent. Otherewise there is risk that condensate either freezes (if you're in a freezing climage) to block the heater's exhausts (you lose heat) or to produce dangerous carbon monoxide gas in the building. The wider single round plastic vent at the right side of our photo is venting a second appliance, perhaps a water heater. As with the gas side wall power venters described above, the unit includes a factory-wired safety control that will prevent the heater from operating if the power vent is not working. The company's products include the direct vent sealant shown in our photo (above left), item #614C.
Depending on the brand and model, your heating appliance may have similar restrictions so be sure to read the installation instructions with care.
Fundamentals of Gas Appliance Venting and Ventilation, 1985, American Gas Association Laboratories, Engineering Services Department. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. If you live the Chicagoland area, or any of the nearby areas such as Aurora, and would like a professional furnace repair technician to perform a tune up on your heating system, please do not hesitate to call George’s Heating and Cooling today.
Although their architectural office has been in business for almost 30 years and has ten subsidiary offices in Europe and Asia, this office building is the first for BE to design for itself. Battening has been laid on this for a cavity floor, topped in turn by wooden boarding, a layer of footfall sound insulation and anhydrite screed.
The construction is based on simple and well performing materials, structures and building services systems that fulfil the requirements set for the building. Heat pumps are typically used to pull heat out of the air or ground to heat a home or office building, but they can be reversed to cool a building. Hot utility water is heated by two electric boilers: one for kitchen of a 20-litre volume (located near the sink) and one for bathroom of 200-litre capacity.

Well-thought even phase load has an impact on the choice of optimum value of the principal circuit breaker or assembly of an electric current load alleviator; this fact affects operating economy of the household and it is the principal indicator showing that home switchboard is to be installed.
Since heating has to do with feelings, we only feel comfortable in a room when required comfort temperature is felt at the floor because we are most sensitive to heat at our feet. Atypical cable mats were selected out of the assortment offered because they are easy and fast to be laid.
The bathroom makes use of atypical cable mat ECOFLOOR to provide for warm paving comfort that has crucial sense in bathrooms, above all, and it is not only comfortable but also practical because it makes wet floor get dry fast. Condensate accumulates in the vent pipe, dissolves flue gas deposits, and ultimately leaks both outside and back into the equipment. For non-direct-vent applications (that is, side wall venting only), the required clearance is 7 feet.
I'm considering the situation in which the hot gas exhaust blows onto the air intake side of a condensing coil. Where either these conditions are possible I'd increase the clearance distance to 10 feet or 3 meters. I would like to address my concern of CO coming out from side of house, even if it is per code. But for operable windows, both countries use the same guideline: the distance shown by the red arrows needs to be 3 feet for heating appliances over 100,000 BTUH. In climates where snowfall may occur at depths capable of covering the air intake or sidewall vent outlet, Vermont Gas and Thermo Products both warn that it is critical to keep sidewall vents clear of snow-cover. Corrosion that leads to flue gas leaks can leak potentially fatal carbon monoxide or other gases into the occupied space of the building. And as they see it, this was all the more reason for the building to express their attitude in as unfiltered a way as possible.
The latter can be left as is, and makes a virginal impression in areas still to be rented out. The concept bases on low heat losses of a building, without traditional heating systems and without active cooling. In a way, if you know how an air conditioner works, then you already know a lot about how a heat pump works.
However, such systems achieve the highest temperature at the ceiling where it is absolutely useless. The heating mats were supplied for each room in optimum area outputs; and their dimensions and shapes copied the perimeter of the room (only areas under permanently fitted appliances or installations were skipped). As a source, it uses electric heating foils ECOFILM, type C, installed under the plasterboard ceiling structure. In 2010, the billing period shifted the contrary, therefore accounts for the year 2010 represents the entire 15 months of operation the household. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order.
And this has been undergoing a noticeable change for a number of years, with their transparent facades and filigree wood slat cladding of earlier times increasingly giving way to stone architecture.
This is because cable outlets are not provided a priori; rather, tenants are simply to drill through the floor to the cavity below and lay cables where they are needed. Investment cost may be higher with a Passive House compared to a typical house, but running costs are substantially lower. Also living in a passive house does not require a special life-style, and buildings are not designed for a certain category of people. If you've ever enjoyed a hot tub or heated swimming pool, then you probably have a heat pump to thank.
To achieve the required comfort temperature at the floor, the room must be “overheated” but this is certainly not desirable at all from the economic perspective. Heating foil ECOFILM radiates infrared beams through the plasterboard down to the floor; the beams are absorbed by objects, including persons, and not transformed into thermal energy until touching the objects. Owing to the fact that electric heating mats are laid in the living room to reach as far as the French windows, there was no need to install a special device to prevent French windows from getting wet with dew; the heat flow rising from the floor is sufficient.
Comparing it to car exhaust does not comfort me, as we would not a stationary car for the exhaust gas with CO at same place as plastic flue side wall vent. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home.
They work best in moderate climates, so if you don't experience extreme heat and cold in your neck of the woods, then using a heat pump instead of a furnace and air conditioner could help you save a little money each month.
This negative aspect is entirely eliminated by large-area floor and ceiling systems that guarantee even distribution of temperatures at both horizontal and vertical levels of the room. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material. Even historicist details are no longer unknown in be baumschlager eberle's work.This development has reached a provisional climax in the Lustenau building, a six-storey house that is both massive and monumental in effect, a cube whose white rendered walls and deep-set window openings place it in antithesis to the much lower and flatter industry buildings all around. This temperature evenness is one of the main reasons of high heating comfort, above all in systems of direct electric heating while maintaining low running costs. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. This is not to imply any inferiority in the quality of these buildings, however; rather, internationally-oriented companies and Vorarlberg architecture have come together in most favourable fashion at Lustenau's Millennium Park, while the subsidiary of the Italian espresso machine manufacturer Saeco on a neighbouring plot is a design by be baumschlager eberle.
Yet although the triple-glazed windows with their completely insulated frames (assuming that 78 centimetres of brickwork can be regarded as insulation) are also a proven element in the passive house construction kit, the office building in Lustenau has no heat recovery ventilation system. The floor heating system, very pleasant especially in the so-called cold floor covering, such as paving or laminate floating flooring, etc., is quite widely used at present and it has become a standard solution nowadays, above all in bathrooms. Instead the architects opted for window-based or rather shuttered aeration in the form of vent shutters in the facade. The ECOFLOOR program offers a whole range of product groups and forms the largest offer at the market.
The architects explain their choice quite pragmatically: the building is located in Vorarlberg – and thus in the home territory of be baumschlager eberle – but if needs be their projects all over the world are within easy reach, whether by the motorway or a plane from Zurich airport. The difference from hot-water floor heating consists, above all, in very low investment costs of technology and implementation. The users can override the automatic control system whenever desired to open the vents themselves, but closing takes place automatically.
The architects shaped the property with white gravel, metal-enclosed pools and newly-planted rows of trees to suit their tastes, thus creating ample space around the white cube without completely isolating it from its surroundings. Yet as proved by the window control system alone, the building naturally does not simply return to 120 years ago on a structural  design level.
Nor does the edifice manage without the 20th-century achievements of construction chemicals in building materials.
The sole sources of heat are present in the building anyway: its users (on average a person emits about 80 watts in thermal energy), and the PCs, photocopying machines and coffee machines in the office rooms. The architects soon realised that the calculation standards that form the base of performance certificates would not be of much help since they do not adequately model either the building's enormous thermal storage mass or the true heat loss caused by the automatic aeration system.
In other words, the new building is basically something that Dietmar Eberle never wanted it to be: a passive house in the original and actual meaning of the word. The necessary temperature stability is ensured first and foremost by an enormous thermal mass: the outer walls consist of 76-centimetre-thick brickwork, divided into an inner, 38-centimetre-thick layer of load-bearing vertical coring bricks and a further 38 centimetres of insulating bricks with a high percentage of core holes. This is quite remarkable, since although the building's interior heat loads are a lot smaller than usual during holidays, the temperature in the rooms remained surprisingly stable. At present their office occupies only two storeys; a third is let to three planning offices with whom the architects frequently collaborate and a restaurant and the branch of an art gallery based in Munich and Zurich occupy the ground floor.
And although you can recommend your employees to put on a warm pullover should the temperature control system fail at some point, such a high-handed approach cannot be expected to meet with the understanding of tenants. Luxury can also be seen in the 76-centimetre-thick outer walls, which would undoubtedly be out of the question for downtown investment projects in which every rentable square centimetre counts.
In other words, the architects offset the costs of the enormous room heights, the additional thermal mass and the longevity compared to an average building by dispensing with technical equipment.

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