Terrassa Haus: Passivhaus Living in the heart of Catalonia

Terrassa Haus not only showcases the feasibility of Passivhaus principles in multi-residential developments but also demonstrates the economic viability of sustainable building practices. By prioritizing energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, Terrassa Haus offers residents a comfortable, healthy living environment while significantly reducing their carbon footprint.

Terrassa Haus: Passivhaus Living in the heart of Catalonia

Terrassa Haus offers residents a comfortable, healthy living environment while significantly reducing their carbon footprint.

Terrassa Haus is a testament to energy efficiency and sustainability, being the first multi-residential building in Catalonia to achieve Passivhaus Classic certification.

Terrassa Haus Passivhaus Praxis exterior

In the bustling city of Terrassa, Catalonia, Spain, an innovative residential development is redefining sustainable living. Terrassa Haus is the first multi-residential building in the city to achieve Passivhaus certification, setting a new standard for energy efficiency and environmental consciousness in the region. Developed by Cambolico and designed by architects Antoni Espona & Xavier Torcal, with Passivhaus consultancy, HVAC design, and Blower Door testing conducted by Oliver Style and Bega Clavero from Praxis Resilient Buildings, the project represents a bold step towards a greener future.

Commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability

At first glance, Terrassa Haus blends modern design with eco-friendly features. The building comprises four floors, including ground-level commercial spaces and three floors of thoughtfully designed apartments ranging from 76 m2 to 154 m2. With a total floor area of 1142m2, the development offers residents a range of amenities, including a communal co-working space, bike room, gym, and a communal pool.

What truly sets Terrassa Haus apart, however, is its commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. Built upon an existing concrete structure abandoned during the economic crisis of 2007, the building underwent a comprehensive retrofitting process to achieve Passivhaus certification. An external thermal insulation system with EPS insulation was meticulously applied over ceramic brick, supplemented by an additional layer of Knauf Insulation mineral wool in the service void, chosen specifically because it incorporates a bio-based E-Technology binder, free from added phenols and formaldehydes, protecting both the workers on site and future occupants from harmful emissions.. The roof is insulated with XPS insulation, ensuring maximum thermal performance throughout the building envelope. With an impressive n50 value of 0.6 air changes per hour, Terrassa Haus passed the Blower Door airtightness test with flying colours, reaffirming its status as a beacon of environmental responsibility and cutting-edge construction practices.

Consultoría Passivhaus - Terrassa Haus. Terrasse
Terrassa Haus Passivhaus Office

The attention to detail extends to the windows, heating, cooling, and hot water provision

The attention to detail extends to the windows, where Rehau PVC frames with argon-filled low-emissivity glazing were installed. Swisspacer insulated glazing spacers further enhance the windows’ energy efficiency, minimizing heat loss and maximizing natural light penetration.

For heating, cooling, and hot water provision, Terrassa Haus relies on individual Hitachi all-in-one heat pumps installed in each apartment. These state-of-the-art systems offer residents personalized climate control while minimizing energy consumption. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery is achieved through individual Soler & Palau Passivhaus certified ventilation units, strategically positioned to draw in fresh air from the façade walls and extract stale air to the roof via shared ducts.

Terrassa Haus Passivhaus Praxis Barcelona
Terrassa Haus Passivhaus Praxis Barcelona

Terrassa Haus serves as an inspiring example of what can be achieved through innovation and collaboration

Terrassa Haus not only showcases the feasibility of Passivhaus principles in multi-residential developments but also demonstrates the economic viability of sustainable building practices. By prioritizing energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, Terrassa Haus offers residents a comfortable, healthy living environment while significantly reducing their carbon footprint.

As cities worldwide strive to combat climate change and promote sustainable development, projects like Terrassa Haus serve as inspiring examples of what can be achieved through innovation and collaboration. By embracing Passivhaus standards, developers, architects, and building professionals can pave the way towards a greener, more sustainable future for generations to come. Terrassa Haus stands as a testament to the power of visionary thinking and a beacon of hope for sustainable urban living.

Photos: terrassahaus.com

Passive House Database iPHa

2023, a year of challenges and achievements: 6 flagship Passivhaus certification and consultancy projects

We’re proud to have carried out projects in various countries, in both new-build and retrofit, promoting the development of sustainable construction and contributing to the creation of comfortable, healthy and energy efficient space.

2023, a year of challenges and achievements: 6 flagship Passivhaus certification and consultancy projects

Over the course of last year we’re proud to have participated in both new-build and retrofit projects, helping promote the development of sustainable and low-carbon architecture.

We’ve been able to contribute to the creation of comfortable, healthy and energy efficient spaces, fostering a more conscious and responsible lifestyle.

6 flagship Passivhaus certification and consultancy projects

2023 was an exciting year at Praxis, full of challenges and achievements. We’re proud to have carried out projects in various countries, in both new-build and retrofit, promoting the development of sustainable construction and contributing to the creation of comfortable, healthy and energy efficient spaces. Below are a selection of some of the most challenging projects we took part in over the course of 2023.


Passivhaus consultancy projects

At Praxis we are experts in applying passive and active design strategies that improve thermal comfort and reduce energy consumption in buildings. These are some of the projects we’ve taken part in during 2023:

Terrassahaus: multi-residential block of 14 homes in Terrassa

Terrassahaus: multi-residential block of 14 homes in Terrassa

We delivered the Passivhaus design and consultancy, on-site supervision and Blower Door air tightness tests for this pioneering project in Terrassa city center that has achieved Passivhaus Classic Certification. This is the first multi-residential building with Passivhaus certification from the real estate developer Camoblico, and marks a before and after in the company’s trajectory.

ICONIC: high performance sports center in Andorra

ICONIC: high performance sports center in Andorra

Praxis carried out the design and Passivhaus consultancy for this ambitious project, together with thermodynamic simulation with Design Builder, to assess thermal comfort in critical areas. Designed by Engitec, the project is located at 2.500 meters above sea level and combines retrofit and new construction with prefabricated building enclosures that can be rapidly assembled during the window of summer months when construction is possible. It’s been by far one of the most complex projects we’ve taken part in, with extreme climate conditions and extensive facilities, including restaurants, industrial kitchens, sports spaces, heated technical pools and a residential area for athletes

Mirador de Gràcia: a nursing home in Barcelona

Mirador de Gràcia: a nursing home in Barcelona

This is a large and complex 5000 m2 new-build nursing home, nestled in the hills above Barcelona. The project was designed by Genars and developed by FIATC, and is set to become their first elderly people’s residence to obtain Passivhaus Classic certification. We delivered Passivhaus design and consultancy, Blower Door air tightness tests and the site supervision.

 


Passivhaus building certifications

At Praxis Resilient Buildings we are official certifiers accredited by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany. These are some of the projects in which we’ve participated in over the course of the last year.

Passivhaus Premium certification in a single-family home in the Barcelona province

Passivhaus Premium certification in a single-family home in the Barcelona province

This beautiful home in Sant Pere de Ribes was designed by SgArq, a design and build practice based in Sitges that is firmly committed to delivering all projects to Passivhaus standard. The home achieved Passivhaus premium certification, the most demanding class of certification, generating around 5 times more energy than it consumes.

Passivhaus Classic social housing multi-residential building in Andorra

Passivhaus Classic social housing multi-residential building in Andorra

Over the course of 2023 we completed the Passivhaus project audit for this 3,500 m2 high-rise residential building, designed by architects Pau Iglesias and Jacint Gil, which includes commercial spaces on the ground floors and social housing above. The project is being developed by the Government of Andorra and is aiming for Passivhaus Classic certification, with completion set for late 2024. 

EnerPHit Certification at the Aldabe community and sports center in the Basque Country

EnerPHit Certification at the Aldabe community and sports center in the Basque Country

This retrofit project, designed by Energiehaus Arquitectos, includes offices, a theater, libraries, playroom, training classrooms and a sports center with an indoor heated pool and multi-sports hall. The project presents significant challenges due to the complexity of the building and the variety of uses. EnerPHit is the Passivhaus certification seal for the deep energy retrofitting of existing buildings.


SIf you want to check out some of the other projects we’ve been working on, have a look at our projects section. At Praxis, we help our clients create healthy, efficient and comfortable buildings with excellent air quality and minimal energy consumption, prepared for extreme weather conditions and immune from rocketing energy prices.