Efficiency House Plus with Electromobility

German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development

The "surplus energy house" is in fully functioning and inhabitable since December 2011


Leading case typology

   Leading case function



   Industrial, services, etc.

Main Targets

  • Efficiency house plus generates its own energy and makes it available to the inhabitants or feeds the public grid with the excess of energy;
  • Production and storage of energy for charging the electric vehicles;
  • 100% annual average self-sufficient supply through renewable resources;
  • All home construction materials fully recyclables;
  • Development of an extensive monitoring program during all test phases;
  • Sustainability assessment in accordance with the German Efficiency House Plus certification system.


The Efficiency House Plus with Electromobility represents the prototype of the new construction program presented by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. The newly created archetype is intended to test the latest constructive and energy components under real-world conditions of continuous employment, to prepare recommendations for their ongoing development and to further improve the economy of similar projects.
The project will be closely monitored during a two-year period, starting with an initial test phase (1 year), and followed by a test phase with a higher daily use by a family with four elements (1 year). The results will be available for the large-scale construction market, showing the economic viability of such buildings.


Research context
Resulting of a competition process that occurred in 2010, the creation of this pilot research project had by mission to contribute to the definition of the current state-of-art of the networking of energy-efficient and sustainable construction in the Federal Republic of Germany context.


Through this research initiative, the promoter intends to impulse the following research clusters:

  • Sustainable and superiority construction;
  • Energy efficiency, renewable energy in the building area, and calculation tools for energy management;
  • Structural inventory modernization;
  • New concepts/prototypes for nearly zero and energy efficiency plus constructions slogans;
  • Development of new materials and technologies;
  • Comprehensive bodies of legislation and tendering.


Architectural and energy concept
The energetic pilot project is centrally located in Berlin's inner city and closely linked to innumerous access points to public transports (Zoo Station tram way, under-ground railway and bus connections) and surrounding and regional highways connections.



The research project was constructed as a single-family house with around 130 m2 in a two floors structure, under a flexible utilization concept. All space available was fully thought to maximize the energy-efficient structures and components. The energy generation combines two sources: an air-water-heat pump that recovers the necessary heat from the external ambient air in winter, and the solar cells disposed on the roof and exterior façade that generate electric current (available immediately for domestic use or stored to charge the electric vehicles). 



Innovative technology and intelligent energy management allows bidirectional battery operation as a power consumer or a power supplier to the public grid.



The pilot house annual energy need is projected to be less than 10.000 kWh, and the projection of annual energy produced is more than 16.000 kWh, allowing a significant energy plus to be generated for use as electromobility.



Home Technology
The entire house technology is located in a technical core accessed by the inhabitants via touch screens or controlled via smart phones and it is visible and comprehensible for all public visitors.



The sun is the house power source technology in two different ways: mono-crystalline solar cells generate current from the incident sunlight, while a heat pump uses the exterior air as a source for creating hot water.


Heat requirements will be met by an underfloor heating system composed by a dry screed in the floor, and for the cooling season the outdoor shading elements will prevent any overheating in the summertime.


Energy management system
The autonomous energy management system employed in this project allows the optimization of energy flows by all the entire system, including the solar cells, public power grid, the vehicles as well as the thermal and power storage devices. The main advantage of the system is its ability to exploit weather forecasts to calculate the current energy generated by the solar cells and corresponding this information to the home thermal requirements, as well as the domestic consumption of electric power and their respective vehicles.



Sustainability assessment
The house planning process was based on an integrated sustainability vision, considering the assessment principles of the Sustainable Construction Assessment System in accordance with the German Efficiency House Plus certification system. The obtained results illustrate the achieved ecological balance of the Efficiency House Plus with Electromobility in comparison with a passive house current performance.



The role of Electromobility
This pilot research intends to demonstrate the synergies between the living subjects and mobility under the slogan "My home, my filling station", by incorporating a charge station for electric vehicles supply inside the house area.



A battery with around 40 kWh of charging capacity was installed to ensure the energetic autonomy for the vehicles and a smartphone application was designed to allow the user to choose when to use the vehicle and the desired travel plan.