We often forget that in Europe about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions come from construction-related industries and that the houses we inhabit consume energy voraciously. Fortunately, times are changing and more and more homes are designed to minimise energy and water consumption. In San Lorenzo, the Ibiza company Terravita has designed and built Can Tanca following the most demanding criteria from the German Passivhaus ecolabel.
Can Tanca, considered one of the most sustainable houses in the world.
For starters, the house is optimally sealed with last-generation materials and techniques. It then uses an automated system to extract stale air and replace it with fresh air from the outside, always maintaining a “comfortable temperature”. This system, like the rest of the house, draws its power from the solar panels covering all the 210 square metres of the roof. Half of the water consumption comes from rainfall and the rest from supply trucks. The result is that the house is completely off-grid with regard to electrical, gas and water supply.
Its electricity and water consumption is 25% that of a conventional house.
Terravita, the company in charge of the project, has obtained the Premium certificate granted by Passive House Institute, a distinction given to only four other buildings in the world. The house also complies with the BREEAM sustainable construction label—even more stringent—in its ten categories: management, health and welfare, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, ecology, innovation and pollution.
How much does a passive house cost?
A passive house usually costs between 1% and 10% more than a conventional house with similar finishes. This calculation does not include the energy collection and water reuse/recycling system. But when you factor in the lack of utility bills, the investment pays for itself in between 5 and 7 years.
- The home’s finishes are of the highest quality: triple glazed windows, low-consumption appliances and bamboo flooring.
- Can Tanca boasts a structure made entirely of spruce wood from sustainable forests.
- Bathrooms use only 10% of the energy and water used by conventional bathrooms.
- Each litre of water is used twice. Tanks for rainwater, purification and irrigation.
- It has three different living spaces and an outside pergola.
- Design and sustainability go hand in hand in Can Tanca.
- The heart of the building is the mechanical ventilation system, which recovers 84% of the heat.
- Thanks to its solar panels, the house is 100% self-sufficient, without need for a generator or connection to the mains.
- Delivery of the Passivhaus Premium certificate and accreditation plaque in Can Tanca, San Lorenzo (municipality of San Juan, Ibiza), on 23 March.
“One day all houses will be like this”
The European Union’s so-called Horizon 2020 aims for all buildings built after 31 December 2020 to have “almost zero energy consumption”. Passive houses anticipate this ambitious goal. ◊