“massive passive builds solid timber houses exclusively with wood from certified forests. For all projects, our preference is insulation made from natural materials. Moreover, the sensibly planned ventilation and heating systems have top-quality technical standards and are energy-efficient. Together with sophisticated sun-shading systems, they ensure a pleasant and healthy indoor climate in all the houses.

The use of products from the oil industry (polystyrene and PVC, among others) is reduced to an absolute minimum. Instead, “massive passive” houses are approaching the zero energy house standard, thanks to their use of timber and other energy-efficient materials: sustainable materials reduce the CO₂ emission and guarantee a positive balance when calculating “grey energy”.
Massive Passive - Fischbach

Perfect interplay – wood and concrete

Solid timber and concrete can easily be combined with one another. “massive passive makes use of the respective strengths of both materials in an intelligent way. Thus, the solid timber construction has low-level sound transmission, ensuring acoustic comfort in the whole building.

This positive feature is optimised still further through the combination with a heavy material such as concrete. But the combination not only creates technical advantages: wood and concrete fit together very nicely in a visual sense, too, and bestow an interesting architectural added value on “massive passive houses.

Wooden house

This hybrid passive house made of solid wood and concrete was designed in a residential area in Mersch.

Inside, on garden level, the house offers a bright living room with a beautiful modern kitchen made of oak. The interior and exterior merge through the large windows that reach to the ceiling and provide access to a cozy terrace or garden. Upstairs there are 4 large and bright bedrooms including a master suite and two bathrooms. Extras: floors, doors and even the ceiling are black. The selection of furniture and splashes of color here and there give the whole a sober and elegant ambience. In general, the concept has been deliberately designed so that there is an interplay between light and dark areas.

The combination of concrete and wood was selected because of special qualities inertia terms (better thermal comfort) and is chosen for its good acoustic skills . The solid wood which was externally and internally used for the floor, gives the house on a natural and aesthetic way heat and some softness. Particular attention was paid to the choice of insulation: no polystyrene or polyurethane foam. The whole house, including the plaster partially, was charged with wood fibers isolated for its environmental benefits.
At the technical level, the installation of a heat pump attracts the attention, with bore for heating and cooling the Passive House. Controlled mechanical ventilation regulates the constant supply of fresh air.
The house was built according to the latest technologies in passive construction. Ecological materials were  preferred. Finally, it was a big success and the energy goal was achieved because the house produces more energy than it consumes, thanks to a large photovoltaic system on the roof of the house.

Mersch «Koppelwee» 15

Hybrid passive house built in concrete and solid wood in Mersch

This "hybrid" passive house made of concrete and solid wood has been realized at "Koppelweg I" housing estate in Mersch (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg).

On the ground floor, the house offers a bright living room with a beautiful contemporary oak kitchen. Inside and outside merge thanks to large bay windows of the same height as the ceiling which allow access to a pleasant terrace. The ground floor is composed of 3 bright bedrooms including a master suite with dressing room, bathroom, as well as a shower room.

Specials: All the walls of the ground floor corridor are made of oak including the interior doors. This coating is continuous on the walls of the three bedrooms. The combination of these walls with white ceilings and black parquet brings a sober and elegant atmosphere to the premises. Generally speaking, the spirit of the house was deliberately designed in a play of light and dark surfaces.
The symbiosis of concrete and wood is explained for its properties linked to the inertia of the building (better thermal comfort) and for its great acoustic capacities. The solid wood inside naturally warms and softens the modern aesthetic side of the house.

Particular attention has been paid to the acoustics of the bedrooms using a triple wall construction system. Each room has its own four walls and solid wood slab that are acoustically separated with hemp between these walls. Thus, we obtain very good acoustic values, similar to a concrete wall.

On a technical level, the installation of a heat pump with an ice tank to heat and cool the passive house should be noted. Controlled mechanical ventilation regulates the constant supply of fresh air. The ventilation air flow rate is controlled by CO2 and humidity measuring probes in each living room, which guarantees good air quality throughout the house.

The house is built using the latest passive construction technology. Ecological materials were preferred: no polystyrene or PU foam, but wood fibre celluose and cellular glass. In addition, the entire concrete area has been produced with waterproof concrete, which makes the polymeric sealing strips redundant.

Photos: mypixelworld.be / Stéphanie Bodart