Building a new house

Do you intend to build a new house? If so, you have the opportunity to set off on the right foot.

Building standards together with the requirements of the authorities on how energy efficient a newly built house should be have changed over the years.

Energy and economy

Energy efficient solutions are often weighed against economy, and the temptation is then to choose what is cheapest. But what is cheapest at the time of buying may cost more over the life of the house than a more energy-efficient house would do, even though that latter may be more expensive to buy.

Rules and laws

The website of the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning includes particulars of the building and design rules that govern, for example, the requirements made on the functionality of the building as regards, for instance, bathroom, load-bearing capacity, strength and durability. See the links to the right.

Be far-sighted in you thinking

It is important to be far-sighted in your thinking if you are considering building a house. You don’t want to have to change the ventilation system or the heating system in five or ten years merely because the alternative you chose initially was too expensive in operation.

The siting affects the energy consumption

The outdoor climate often has a great influence on the energy consumption of the house. It is preferable to build the house on a sheltered site. Bear in mind to have small windows facing north and large windows facing south.

Windows and the balcony or veranda door are often the greatest energy consumption scoundrels in the climate shell of the house. Choose windows with a low U value. They are a little more expensive, but you will soon recover the extra investment by a lower energy consumption and higher comfort.

Low-energy houses

You can very well build a low-energy house known as “passive house”. A low-energy house has very good insulation in the climate shell (walls, floors, roof, windows and doors). Due to the good insulation, a large proportion of the heat generated inside the house by the occupants living there, by domestic appliances and by home electronics will remain in the house.

The house is equipped with a ventilation system that recovers the heat from the exhaust air and uses it for heating the incoming air, and for heating the domestic hot water used. A solar collector on the roof will assist in restricting the energy consumption for water heating.