Approach

To assess the whole life cycle, the cumulative energy demand (CED) methodology was used. Such an investigation was of particular interest in this project because:

• many houses were built in a limited number of construction variations, making it possible to draw conclusions on such factors as the influence of massive houses versus light construction, or having a cellar or slab on grade;

• the houses are well insulated and incorporate solar thermal and PV systems; and

• individual house systems and central (row house) systems could be compared.

As a first step, an inventory was made of all construction materials used. This was very time consuming because of the complexity of constructions. For example, pipes for drinking water consist of plastic, aluminium, a plastic surface layer and insulation. The masses of the materials were multiplied by specific CED values to calculate the primary energy input for the production of the housing. Three different house types were investigated:

1 massive houses in the northern part of the settlement (Plus);

2 wooden frame houses (Trio and Quattro); and

3 massive houses (Optimo), with nearly the same floor plans as the wooden frame houses.

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