The Newton Project’s sustainable energy concept


Fossil fuel bills – a thing of the past !

The Cooperative decided to take the Passive House to the next level and opt for the PlusEnergy concept for its development using photovoltaic and solar thermal systems. This means, that we will cover the complete electricity demand of the development. Any excess energy that is generated will be fed into the grid (or used to charge our electric cars and bicycles). With the power generated from the PV-systems on the roof and facades of the buildings, the property will be autonomous and remain unaffected by the constantly rising energy costs. The initial investment of a Passive House design pays off through ultra-low energy bills over the life of the home.

The Passive House is the future, and you can enjoy the benefits right now because the Newton Project in Berlin is creating the future today!

Passive House +X

PlusEnergy goes beyond the passive house concept of greatly reducing a building’s energy consumption. The EnergyPlus concept combines the low-energy building techniques of a passive house with the local production of energy from renewable sources. Both photovoltaic panels on the roofs and building facades as well as solar thermal units are incorporated along with passive solar gain. The EnergyPlus house produces more energy than it consumes. The energy generated is used for powering household equipment (fridges, computers, electric cars or e-bikes). In summer the excess heat that is generated is fed into a remote heat storage network then returned in winter when required for heating. Thus EnergyPlus uses new technologies to offer smart solutions. By minimizing energy consumption and producing a surplus of renewable energy, we are able to benefit from low maintenance and energy costs. Our architects have developed this sustainable energy concept in conjunction with the scientists from the Ostfalia Technical University.


The passive house

The passive house is the leading international standard for energy efficient construction. The passive house allows for significant energy saving through the use of energy efficient building components and through ventilation systems with heat recovery. Triple glazed windows, extremely well insulated window frames and a well insulated outer facade ensure that warmth remains in the building, thus a passive building does not require conventional heating or air conditioning and results in significantly reduced energy consumption and contributes to climate change mitigation. A Passive House does not just save costs; one of the main advantages of this energy-efficient construction method is the high level of thermal comfort it offers. Fresh air is provided by a decentralized ventilation system with heat and humidity recovery. The high efficiency ventilation systems pull air from kitchens, bathrooms, and any other high-moisture or odour-producing spaces and pipes fresh air into bedrooms and other living spaces. This balanced ventilation system keeps the humidity inside the home at a comfortable range and improves the quality of the indoor air quality. While the windows in a passive home can be opened just like the windows in any other house, homeowners may also choose to keep them closed, bringing all fresh air in through the filtered ventilation system and reducing exposure to dust and allergens which is particularly important for persons with asthma and allergies.

Passive house +X

The concept of a passive house must incorporate passive design fundamentals including compact efficient building shapes, super insulation, exposure to the sun, advanced windows with triple glazing, insulated window frames, window orientation and shading and ventilation with heat recovery. Passive homes are heated primarily by the sun, but unlike solar-powered houses, which use solar panels to convert sunlight to electricity, passive houses capture the sun's energy in the form of heat, using the design and construction of the home itself to eliminate the need for a conventional heat source. Generally a certified Passive House will use an estimated 90 to 95% less energy for heating and cooling and approximately 70 %less overall energy than a traditionally built home. Other benefits are:

  • Better indoor air quality and comfort
  • Peace and quiet: the high-performance windows and heavily insulated walls in a passive home greatly reduce exposure to street noise and other outdoor sounds thus contributing to your privacy and wellbeing.
  • Reduced reliance on outside power: being self-reliant allows us to enjoy the benefits of decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels- and the infrastructure that supplies them as we confront an uncertain energy future.
  • Value: the cost savings accrued over the long term offset the initially higher cost of building a passive home compared to a conventional home, thus enhancing the value of the property.
  • Construction quality and durability: because every aspect of the passive house is carefully planned and specified in advance, nothing is left to chance with regard to materials or construction. Many of the interior and exterior finish materials used in passive house design, such as the high-end windows and doors, are virtually maintenance-free and you can enjoy a home of very high quality.
  • Doing your part: you'll be able to rest easy knowing that you're minimizing your impact on the environment even as you improve your own quality of life.
  • Rebates and tax credits: you can access the benefit of special low-interest loans provided by the State to support sustainable development. The DBU has recognized the model character of the Newton Project and will support this development.