Passive House Disk Salzkammergut

Built as one of the first passive houses in Upper Austria, the house is the oldest certified passive house in Austria and was presented with the award "House of the Future" in 2000. Due to the optimising measures conducted, the demonstration project was built without incurring extra costs compared to the then current design under the Austrian Building Code. Apart from energetic considerations, "grey energy" was also analysed. Passive House Certificate

Basic design of the project:

  • Reuse of a discarded trade-fair pavilion
  • Energy efficiency through passive house construction
  • Reduction of materials used for construction and operation
  • Ecological, resource-saving and climate-protecting type of construction
  • Project analysis of all greenhouse gas relevant emissions
  • No sealing of natural areas
  • Handicapped-accessible type of construction
  • Increased living comfort and cosiness
  • Sophisticated and modern architecture
  • No additional costs compared to conventional types of construction
  • Future-oriented type of construction using state-of-the-art technologies
  • Suitability and further development for series production
  • Basis of new international environmental regulations
  • Residual energy demand covered by green electricity and bioethanol
120 terrasse sommer2001 

From a discarded trade-fair pavilion to a single-family passive house

The basic idea arose from the opportunity of reusing a discarded, extraordinary trade-fair pavilion as the basic structure for building a single-family home. To get the most out of the structure, the future building shape was adjusted to the existing construction. The old wooden construction was merely ground to remove traces of wear and tear and obtain an "as-new" wooden surface. The wood was not treated with chemical wood preservatives.

 Messestand 2

The low-cost passive house

What the owner asked from architect Hermann Kaufmann from Schwarzach was that the building envelope built around the structure had to fulfil all requirements of a passive house. After all, the former trade-fair pavilion should turn into a showcase passive house.

Despite the high standard, living comfort and extraordinary architecture, construction costs of € 1,240.-/m² were no higher than those of conventional single-family homes at that time.

The ground-level single-family home in lightweight construction has a diameter of 14.7m and a useful living area of 140m².

 15 aufbau-konstruktion-titelfoto

Energy concept

Extremely high insulated building envelope and windows, no thermal bridges, air tightness.

Low-tech concept

All HVAC equipment with controlled living space ventilation including heat recovery and hot water preparation is accommodated in a compact unit in the toilet. The Ventech PKOM4classic uses only 0.75 m² and is certified by the Passive House Institute.

  • Annual heat demand 13.7 kWh/m²a
  • Heat load (PHPP) 10.2 W/m²
  • Airtightness (measured) n50 = 0.41 1/h
Transmission heat losses of particular components
  • Exterior wall 0.10 W/m²K
  • Roof 0.08 W/m²K
  • Basement floor 0.12 W/m²K
  • Exterior doors incl. frame 0.45 W/m²K
  • Windows incl. frame 0.78 W/m²K

 25 dach-warmdach-orsil

7 bodenplatte-dämmung-styrodur

The builing bases on
  • Insulated floor slab, highly insulated distance floor
  • Existing trade-fair pavilion: glued laminated timber, round glued timber pillars

  • Extensive green covering of flat roof with 53 cm highly insulated dual roof system
  • 40 cm highly insulated exterior wall

  • Untreated larch wood façade with cork frame insulation and insulation over the frame
 20 aufbau-tji-nachtaufnahme

Ecological aspects

  • Detailed analysis of construction material choice to minimise grey energy for building the house
  • Detailed analysis of chemical greenhouse gases in construction products and, therefore, use of HCFC-, HFC- and SF6-free products. Subsequently, these analyses and study results served as a basis of amending building laws and subsidy guidelines to ban chemical propellants in construction products.
  • Green roof with extensive planting and greening of facade parts
  • Use of rain water
  • klima:aktiv passive house scoring 970 out of a maximum of 1000 points
 thumb 67b-außenwand-vorsatzschale-isover


Average green power consumption for heating, hot water and ventilation over 8 years is only 1,580 kWh/a, corresponding to a mean end energy demand for heating, hot water and ventilation of 11.25 kWh/m²a. Additionally, 10 litres of bioethanol are needed for heating a designer oven.

As a result, actual energy consumption is even substantially lower than calculated.

After 7 years, the air tightness pressure test was repeated. The result achieved, n50 = 0,42 1/h, is virtually identical with the original measurement.

Also, a thermographic measurement was conducted after 8 years, which confirmed the excellent state of building.

Furthermore the passive house disk participated in a study about the "Messtechnische Bestimmung der Wärmeverlustkoeffizienten" by the Passive House Institute. By now the passive house disk is one of the best evaluated buildings.

Air quality inside the house:

Due to controlled ventilation and extraction, all rooms are supplied with fresh air throughout the year and CO2 concentration never exceeds 800ppm.
Awards received for the Salzkammergut passive house disk:
  • „Haus der Zukunft 2000“ - won
  • Energy Globe 1999 – nominated
  • OÖ. Umweltschutzsonderpreis 1998 - won
 02 auszeichnung-oö umweltschutzpreis


CD-ROM "Das ökologische Passivhaus" (German) visits the passive house disk (Video/with English subtitles)

    Christine and Ing. Günter Lang

    Architekten Hermann Kaufmann ZT GmbH
    6858 Schwarzach, Sportplatzweg 5

Project leader and detailed planning:
    Ing. Günter Lang