6a00d8341c67ce53ef01156fa63195970c-500wiIn Denmark, near Aarhus, the world’s first Active House is being tested. Thanks to 50m2 of solar panels, solar collectors and a heat pump, over the course of a year this house actually captures more energy than it uses.

For 8 months of the year, the house feeds excess energy into the national grid and then for 4 months of the year, it takes it back, meaning that the grid acts as an energy bank.

The family who are testing the house by living in it for a year can monitor their electricty and heat production and consumption on a weekly, monthly and daily basis via a computer screen on the wall.

A further innovation is that the house is totally self-controlling. Windows and window blinds operate automatically in response to climatic changes. Sensors inside the house adjust the parametres so that maximum comfort and convenience is achieved using the minimum energy.

Heating and ventilation are also automatically controlled by the house’s central computer. It even over-rides the residents’ behaviour if it thinks they are wasting energy. For example, if lights are left on at night, ten minutes after everyone has gone to bed, the house automatically turns all the lights off.

Seven other similar houses are being built across Europe and the question is really whether it is possible to build houses like this at affordable prices because this one cost around 600,000 euros to build