AN ACTIVE HOUSE OFFERS EXCELLENT INDOOR ENVIRONMENT
An Active House is a building that lets in abundant daylight and fresh air, thereby improving the quality of the indoor climate. This also means that the thermal environment is of high quality and that noise does not cause nuisance.
Most people spend 90% of our time indoors; therefore the quality of the indoor environment has a considerable impact on our health and comfort. A good indoor environment is a key quality of an Active House. It must be an integrated part of the house design to ensure good daylight conditions, thermal environment and indoor air quality. To support this process, the criteria in the specifications must be considered. In order to evaluate each building’s indoor climate, the four levels of ambition are used, as mentioned under Active House Radar earlier. Architects and engineers can use these levels to work towards creating their own specific levels for a building.
The criteria of comfort, daylight, thermal comfort and indoor air quality, should be weighted according to predicted or actual use. For daylight only the day lit hours of the use time should be considered assuming 12 hours of daylight (equinox, 21 March/ September). For thermal comfort and indoor air quality all hours should be used. A typical week should be used including working days and weekend, by aggregating the usage hours per day for each day of the week and dividing by seven for the average daily values. The default hours of typical room types in table 1 can be used for residential buildings if no detailed calculations for the specific project is made.
For non-residential projects, other values should be used. For office buildings, distinguish between at least workplaces and individual meeting rooms. In case no detailed values are known, assume default values of 9 hours for a workplace and 4 hours for a meeting room. For evaluation of measured data, the actual use should be used. This way of calculating includes parallel use of rooms by different people.
TABLE 1: EXAMPLE CALCULATION OF AVERAGE DAYLIGHT FACTOR USING DEFAULT NUMBERS FOR DIFFERENT ROOMS IN A HOUSE
In this example, the living room is used 9 times more intensively than the master bedroom during daylight hours. This is expressed in the weighted score (score x intensity of use), which is 18 in this example, while the weighted score of the master bedroom is 1. The resulting Daylight score is (44.5 / 19) = 2.3