The GUtech Eco House, Muscat, Oman

The GUtech Eco House

The ECOHAUS is an ongoing research project originating from the Ecohouse competition. It is designed, built and monitored by the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) to prototype a residential building that offers comfortable indoor conditions in Oman’s hot and humid climate and reaches an annual netzero energy balance. The vision for highly comfortable and netzero energy residential building was materialized through an integrated design process driven by climate responsive design strategies as well as energy and daylight simulations performed by Transsolar. The ECOHAUS consists of three bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room and a bathroom.
The passive strategies comprise a compact volume, an optimal orientation to minimize solar gains and maximize view connection, a highly insulated and air tight envelope, thermal mass outside, internal clay wall bricks to buffer humidity levels, natural wind supported cross and stack ventilation and smart thermal zoning. This led to a cylindrical building volume with large openings to the north and small shaded windows to the south providing sufficient daylight and natural ventilation in winter season. The high performance building envelope minimizes heat gains from the outside, reducing the active cooling demand. Highly selective sun protection double glazing with high quality glass and frame are utilized to provide daylight and minimize direct solar heat gains. The active strategies aims to provide high comfort with minimized energy demand.
The demand controlled dedicated outdoor air system with a total energy recovery wheel for both temperature and humidity recovery to combines energy savings with good air quality. The radiant cooling chilled ceilings provide comfort without noise and draft and allow to operate the compression chiller at high chilled water temperatures, energy efficient appliances. In combination with roof installed 12.4 kWp PV panels for an annual electrictiy generation of 22 MWh/a and solar thermal
collectors for DHW the high performance building achieves annual netzero operation.

Best Sustainable Project 2015 at MENA architecture awards