When Passive house meets traditional architecture

I was really excited to come across the first Greek Passive house, a three semi-detached houses designed and built by XG group, in the suburbs of Volos.

Walking around the neighborhoods of Agria, a delightful semi-rural location on the outskirts of Volos, three houses stand out. Three family houses in a row with a “Passive house certification” wall plaque. These are huge 477m² buildings with exquisite view to Aegean Sea that combine high energy efficient characteristics with building elements of Mount Pelion traditional architecture.

The facades of the houses combine stone cladding with white stucco and wood details. Their style matches the area’s residential houses. The facades look very traditional but the sides are quiet modern and minimal.

West facade. Main entrance of the houses

On the ground floor, a bright living room with a freestanding fireplace, occupied by an open plan kitchen with a modern island and a dining area. Located on the same floor a small WC. A metal staircase with wood cladding leads to three bedrooms and a bathroom in the upper floor.

The house’s geometry, orientation, size and layout of the openings and high thermal conductivity building materials achieve thermal comfort, low energy costs and healthy indoor air quality. 

The property benefits from

  • 15cm EPS external insulation
  •  wooden windows frames with double glazing filled with argon gas
  • thermal bridge free construction
  • ventilation unit with heat recovery (separate unit for each house), additional subsoil heat exchanger
  • air-tight dwelling envelope (n50 = 0.6/h)
  • improved flat plate solar collector stratified solar storage 300lt for each house
  • used local building materials

Detail of the west facade of the south house

South facade

North facade

Air ventilation with recovery

Mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery provides always fresh and clean air all year round, while preventing the escape of heat from the houses. These three semi-detached houses have a pleasant (cool) indoor climate even during excessively hot periods.

Cross-section of the Agria, Magnesia Passive House including the air flow during winter and the individual zones.

Cross-section of the Agria, Magnesia Passive House including the air flow during summer and the individual zones.