The free-standing duplex house-one of the passive houses-located in Weinheim, Germany is charachterised by a load bearing wooden stacked wall and a façade made of BASF's Neopor® (EPS: expandable polystyrene) which takes care of its thermal insulation. A passive house can make do without a conventional heating and air-conditioning system, yet it remains cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Typical aspects of this building style are a well-insulated building shell and a refined ventilation and heat-recovery system with low energy resources. A current EU stipulation sets the passive house as the energy standard that will be required by law for all new buildings in the future.
As per the BASF's release, the extra space and comfort were made possible by a 30 cm thick, external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) with Neopor. Because of Neopor's high insulating capacity, façades can be insulated with panels that are nearly 20% thinner than those made of conventional EPS. Neopor is instrumental in reducing heat losses and in lowering CO2 emissions. The certified passive house has a residual heat demand of 13 kWh per square meter per year, which corresponds to a heating value of 1.3 liters of heating oil. An arched roof and an east wall that is slanted by 5° towards the outside give the house the silhouette of a traditional wicker beach chair while also optimally utilizing the space. In conjunction with the smooth wood construction, the façade was insulated with ETICS made of Neopor.