Home for Life-The Worlds First Active House

Home for Life is located in Lystrup outside Denmarks second-largest city, Aarhus, and leads the way to the next generation of climate-neutral buildings. It is designed as the worlds first Active House and is a result of a research and design development aimed at ensuring a necessary foothold in architecture in an anticipated low-carbon future.

The 200m2 single family house is a CO2-neutral demonstration project, which systematically uses the energy from the sun. 7m2 solar collectors, 50m2 solar cells and a solar heat pump contribute to reduce the demand for energy, while strategically placed solar-cell operated roof windows offer a balanced amount of daylight to the bedrooms and the kitchen-dining room area. Furthermore, all roof windows have dynamic, solar-cell operated blinds on the inside and awnings on the outside.

The environmentally friendly features makes Home for Life a distinctive sustainable project, since the house is designed to produce more energy than it consumes. With an estimated energy surplus of 9kWh/m2/year it takes approximately 40 years for the house to generate the same amount of energy that was used to produce its building materials and at that point the house will have returned more to nature than it consumed.

The construction of the house consists of a timber framing above a concrete raft while the building is clad externally in slate fixed battens, the floor tiles are mosaic made from recycled glass and the windows incorporate the newest energy-saving glass technology. The window area vertical windows and roof windows is equivalent to 40 percent of the floor area twice the area of a conventional low-energy building and by maximizing daylight Home for Life reduces the demand for energy and optimizes the indoor climate.

Light and ventilation is seen as key factor to human well-being. To ensure a healthy indoor climate the openings of the house let in nature, sensors register heat, humidity and CO2 in all rooms and automatic window opening mechanisms let in fresh air, while sensors turn off the lights when you leave the room. Furthermore the occupants and environment of the house are valued through quantitative and qualitative monitoring, interviews and measuring. Subsequent the values are analyzed to develop knowledge to optimize the positive impact on occupants, environment and climate.

In this way, Home for Life demonstrates how architecture is not something to be completed, but something to be developed. It demonstrates how we can tackle the climate challenges by reducing CO2-emissions through architectural features and renewable energy sources without compromising on our demands to daylight and fresh air.


Project Type


Elmehaven 1, Lystrup, 8520,