Passive house in Burmerange (Luxembourg)

Last modified by the author on 30/05/2018 - 10:41
  • Building Type : Isolated or semi-detached house
  • Construction Year : 2014
  • Delivery year : 2016
  • Address 1 - street : 5675 BURMERANGE, Luxembourg
  • Climate zone : [Cfb] Marine Mild Winter, warm summer, no dry season.

  • Net Floor Area : 386 m2
  • Construction/refurbishment cost : 1 €
  • Number of Dwelling : 1 Dwelling
  • Cost/m2 : 0 €/m2
  • Primary energy need
    31 kWhep/
    (Calculation method : Other )
Energy consumption
Economical buildingBuilding
< 50A
51 à 90B
91 à 150C
151 à 230D
231 à 330E
331 à 450F
> 450G
Energy-intensive building
It is a passive single-family building equipped with geothermal energy, a smarthome function, a photovoltaic electric production unit but which has also been designed in a healthy way (reflection on chemical emissions, on the reduction of electromagnetic fields, on the radon problem) including the positive effects of construction materials: humidity regulation, absence of electrostatic effects, composition of indoor air ions.The construction was accompanied by a"baubiologe" health expert and an accredited laboratory which carried out preliminary chemical analyses of the materials to be used on the site.Chemical analyses (more than 150 different molecules), measurement of electromagnetic fields, measurement of radon, positive and negative ions, etc. were carried out after the building was completed to check the"health" aspect and the absence of disrupters. Continuous CO2, humidity or radon measurements have been made.In parallel, the project followed the passive design mode with in particular the calculation of the real energy consumption and the implementation of constructive details with absence of thermal bridges; this absence was verified during the winter season.The construction also serves as a pilot project and is described in detail in a 300-page book (French and German versions) currently under development. It has also been described in a two-hour documentary film (German and French versions) scheduled for release this fall 2018. More than fifty hours of raw film can be adapted to serve as specific training for many trades.

Data reliability




Construction Manager


    Assistance to the Contracting Authority

    Ralph Baden, biologiste diplômé, baubiologe - expert en construction "saine", responsable qualité de l'air intérieur au Ministère du développement durable/Ministère de l'Environnement

    [email protected]

    "Health" advice - material analyses and measurements - indoor air quality controls

Owner approach of sustainability

An adept of contemporary green energy production technologies (photovoltaic electric production installation on the old house), eager to go further in the passive and fanatical concept of computer technologies applied to the building - hence the interest for the"smarthome"-, the master ofThis work became sensitive to the health/quality aspects of indoor air following health problems in her children, these problems were related to the poor indoor air quality of the old house (expert assessments, laboratory analyses), hence the desire to integrate the health aspects in the overall constructive concept and in a sustainable project perspective.

Architectural description

It is a passive single-family dwelling house under massive construction: concrete for load-bearing walls, insulating clay/perlite bricks for the other walls (with humidity regulation function), photovoltaic electrical production system, geothermal energy, underfloor heating, home automation system with braided armoured cables (reduction of electromagnetic fields, WiFi internet access transported by cable in each room and individually manageable by relay), solid wood interior joinery (doors, kitchen), mechanically fixed aluminium windows in order to reduce the risk of damage to the walls, etc;Avoid the use of polyurethane foam), chemically tested oiled parquet and parquet glue, use of biosourced insulation free of harmful substances, lime based interior coating (with moisture regulating function) and non-hazardous mineral paint.
All materials were analysed before use.

If you had to do it again?

Some choices in the trades would be different: mostly time and material quality problems, independent of the"health" aspect of the project.

Energy consumption

  • 31,00 kWhep/
  • 125,00 kWhep/
  • Other



Envelope performance


  • 0,50
  • EN 13829 - n50 » (en 1/h-1)

  • 0,39
  •  Blower Door intermediaire

    Interesting potential in terms of energy savings, safety, but also in terms of health and minimisation of exposure to low and high frequency electromagnetic fields.
    Limitations concerning the connection of the VMC which at the beginning was incompatible and consequently had to be replaced.

     Blower Door final apres achevement du batiment


    • Geothermal heat pump
    • Low temperature floor heating
    • Heat pump
    • Geothermal heat pump
    • Double flow heat exchanger
    • Solar photovoltaic
    • Heat Pump on geothermal probes
  • 37,00 %
  • East-west oriented photovoltaic installation to ensure a more balanced and smoothed electric production over the length of a day (although less important in absolute terms).


Smart Building

    Remote control.
    Central control terminal (kitchen)


GHG emissions



Life Cycle Analysis


    Maximized use of eco-materials wherever possible: wood flooring, interior woodwork in solid wood, biosourced insulators, the whole having been analyzed beforehand to certify the absence of harmful substances within them.

Indoor Air quality

    Use of materials and products free of harmful substances (previously analysed in the laboratory). Air and dust quality controls for over 150 distinct harmful substances including aromatic and aliphatic VOCs, halogenated derivatives, terpenes, glycol ethers, biocides and pyrethroids, organophosphorus and polybrominated flame retardants, PCBs, PAHs, phthalates and heavy metals. Comparison with the German specific guidance values (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ökologischer Forschung - AGOEF), among the most severe in Europe.Concentrations found below detection limits and guidance values except for glycol ethers in a particular room from cleaning products used after construction.CO2 values measured over the long term with concentrations well below 1000 ppm (Pettenkofer), and mostly below 600 pp (cf. outdoor air 400-450 ppm).Formaldehyde concentrations below the detection limit of 10 μg/m3 in living room and bedrooms. Radon 67 Bq/m3 in the bedroom.No anomalies concerning high and low frequency electromagnetic fields: low frequency electric fields > 1 V/m, low frequency magnetic fields > 10 nT in sensitive areas (living room and bedrooms) and therefore far below the SBM-2105 orientation values (Baubiologischer Messtechnik Standard in Germany).


    Improvement of the regulation of the relative humidity of the indoor air by the use of buffer materials such as clay bricks (Poroton), lime plasters without vitrifying paint, oiled and unglazed parquet.Window blinds are managed using smart technology.


    Painting Verdello

    Peintures Robin

    Second œuvre / Peinture, revêtements muraux

    Ecological paint based on natural solvents, 100% biosourced.

    Paint analysed by us for the absence of harmful substances that could emanate and contaminate the ambient air.

     Briques Poroton

    Wienerberger Poroton


    Gros œuvre / Structure, maçonnerie, façade

    Clay bricks used for non-load-bearing walls and partitions.

    Interesting capacity of regulation of the interior hygrometry.

    Wakol MS 290


    Second œuvre / Revêtements de sol 

    Glue used for parquet on underfloor heating and horizontal and vertical tiling.

    Adhesive proposed by the parquet manufacturer, accepted by the tiler, without harmful emissions and without problems of implementation by the trades.

     Colle analysr par laboratoire avant utilisation.



    Gros œuvre / Structure, maçonnerie, façade

    Heat insulating adhesive for insulating Poroton.

    Is an integral part of the Poroton exterior wall system and prevents thermal bridges;
    powder product to mix with water on site; no preservatives.

    Biologa NF 45


    Second œuvre / Peinture, revêtements muraux

    Specific paint to reduce low frequency electric field emissions.

    Application a little difficult because of the black color of the paint



    Second œuvre / Peinture, revêtements muraux

    Paint tested beforehand in laboratory, without harmful emissions.

    Paint that is suitable in shades not too dark (risk of clouds).



    Second œuvre / Revêtements de sol 

    Glue without harmful emissions, in powder form and without preservatives or fungicides.

    Normal use.

Construction and exploitation costs

  • 1,00
  • 1,00
  • 1

Urban environment

The occupants are very satisfied. Children's health problems have disappeared (recurrent cough in the old house, due to proven exposure to organophosphate flame retardants from polyurethane insulation panels).

Land plot area

1 097,00 m2

Built-up area

25,00 %

Parking spaces

Parking outside, on the surface.

Building Environmental Quality

  • indoor air quality and health
  • comfort (visual, olfactive, thermal)
  • energy efficiency
  • renewable energies
  • maintenance

Reasons for participating in the competition(s)

-Rigorous integration of the concept of healthand well-being in parallel with the concept of passive construction,proving that"passive" and"health" are not in contradiction;
-Controls, analyses and measurements upon completion of construction;
-Production of teaching material (documentary film, book, specific documentaries);
-Contact with the owner-occupiersisestablished and maintained in order to allow long-term observation of theconstruction and validate the choices made.

Building candidate in the category

Santé & Confort

Santé & Confort

Coup de Cœur des Internautes

Coup de Cœur des Internautes

Green Solutions Awards 2018 - Bâtiments

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Author of the page
Ralph Baden

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Green Solutions Awards 2018 - Bâtiments