The First Passivhaus Nursing Home In Spain Generates Surplus Energy

The Madrid studio CSO Arquitectura has completed the first Passivhaus certified nursing home in Camarzana de Tera.

Built as an extension to the nursing home that the firm had completed in 2005, the new extension provides additional bedrooms and a better connection to the outside world. The new airtight building is also equipped with solar panels to power both the old and new buildings.

Conceived as an ” energy machine “, the new extension of the nursing home has a minimal energy footprint thanks to its airtight envelope built with a prefabricated wooden frame system.

The prefabricated components were manufactured in a Barcelona workshop and then trucked to the final site, where they were assembled within a week. This process reduced costs and construction time, in addition to and not least the reduction of waste.

The new construction is semi-buried and consists of three modules facing south, linked by a long corridor. The first module houses day services and a north-facing greenhouse with raised beds for the garden.

The remaining two sections house bedrooms, each of which opens onto an individual terrace and shares access to a common patio. Wood, large windows and views of nature were instrumental in creating a cozy home feeling, a distinctive feature that the architects sought as a contrast to the stereotypical sense of cold in residences and hospitals.

The new extension to the nursing home is topped off by an 18 kW photovoltaic system together with 20 solar thermal panels on the green roof. When combined with the building’s airtight exterior system, which was designed for a passive solar strategy, renewable energy systems are capable of producing surplus energy, which is diverted to the old building.

The Passivhaus-certified extension also includes triple-glazed windows, underfloor heating, rainwater collection and mechanical ventilation equipped with heat recovery.

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