If you travel through the Iskar gorge, you can't help but stop at least once. Admire the beautiful views and the surrounding nature, enchanting all the senses. You can't help but dream of a small but modern house. On the sloping slopes of Stara Planina above Iskar, which will give you fabulous views and relaxation in your free time.
Almost 10 years ago, a man decided to make his dream a reality. He buys a small one-story residential building. With a lot of love and care for the environment, he turns the prefabricated house, perched in the middle of beautiful nature, into a wonderful "smart" and energy-efficient home. The entire project for the transformation of the home was entrusted to architect Georgi Tsochev. As a result of the reconstruction of the old house, only the first slab, the staircase, and a few columns remain. The living area increases from 60 to 200 sq.m.
"This is the object in my career with the most hours spent designing on a square meter basis. The reason is not only the fact that reconstruction is more difficult than new construction. But also because the client, as the design progressed, and later the execution developed a sense and eye for detail. We shared the same passion with him. It is related to everything related to automation, energy efficiency, and recycling." said architect Tsochev.
The first thing one notices when you go up there is the magnificent, breathtaking view. A view that changes dynamically with the progress of the day, the seasons, the weather. "Such natural beauty cannot leave you indifferent or indifferent. It changes your worldview and makes you do more about this world and this fairy tale around you ", explains architect Tsochev excitedly.
This is the main reason why the project for the reconstruction of the house includes a number of smart, active, and passive methods for environmental protection. Each element is selected with nature in mind. Its energy efficiency is closely linked to all the other components in this perfectly functioning system.
Guided by the idea of achieving energy efficiency, the owner and the architect rely on several solutions. Good insulation, automation, and equipment with modern means to achieve electricity savings for heating and ventilation. The house is equipped with its own solar farm. It is sufficient to fully meet the electricity needs in 8 to 10 months of the year. A special battery group has been installed for this purpose. It guarantees power supply for 24 hours at full load of the energy system of the house and without power supply from the solar panels.
In order to achieve maximum efficiency, a special BMS system (Building Manager System) provides synchronization between the various heating sources - solar batteries, heat pump, and gas boiler. They provide heat in winter and cooling in summer. The air-to-water inverter heat pump is switched on mainly when cooling is required.
The heating is realized by convectors under all windows. This provides a thermal "curtain" in order to achieve high efficiency. The underfloor heating is located under the decorative pavement in the corridor, the bathroom on the first floor, and the two bathrooms on the second floor. It manages to keep the temperature in these rooms optimal.
"The most interesting architectural solution in the direction of energy efficiency is the chimney effect in the corridor. There is the staircase to the second floor and the three Velux automated skylights located just above it. They provide natural ventilation in the house." explains architect Tsachev.
Along with this, a system has been implemented that allows for forced ventilation. It includes air ducts for injecting and sucking air, a heat exchanger, and an inverter pump. It can work both in winter and in summer. Thanks to this system, the exhaust, and heated air are sucked out of the whole house. Before being taken outside, its heat is removed to a heat exchanger. The fresh air brought into the house from the outside passes through and is heated by this heat exchanger. The air heated in this way is additionally heated to the required temperature with a currently available means selected by the BMS system. In the summer, the process reverses. As a result, controlled air exchange is achieved. It is from zero to fifteen times per hour with minimal heat loss and recovery of up to 70% of heat loss.