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Multifamily Home Gebhartstrasse



The multifamily house is situated in a residential urban neighbourhood of Bern. The ship-like house has been constructed in place of seven demolished garages. The energy-efficient and ecological construction has been accomplished only one year after the demolition. Being the first Minergie-P-ECO house, the building is known for its passive character, use of renewable energy and construction from durable and natural materials.  
The shape of the property determined the ground plan resembling a ship. The building has three equal size apartments. The natural light penetrates through the southwest transparent facade to the spacious rooms. The facade has different layers of glazing, entrance doors and moving wooden framework elements that enable users to create different combinations. By designing the facade as a load-bearing element, architects avoided using an additional structure for the interiors and achieved an open interior layout. A compact concrete core consists of sanitation and technology services and an open staircase connecting three apartments.

The construction of the building is also considered an important phase. The eco-bau guideline is used to achieve healthy and ecological construction that lasts only one year. Moreover, the Minergie-Eco standard launched during the construction has been immediately applied to the new house. The building is supported by a massive concrete basement and a concrete core. The rest of the building is constructed from timber. The large balcony creating exterior space for each apartment is a cantilever.

To minimize the energy requirement different strategies have been adapted. A high proportion of windows allows the passive use of sunlight while the floors filled with gravel and coated with cement create a heat storage mass and protect the rooms from overheating. The modern wood pellet stove supplies additional heating energy. The boiler together with a raw material store is located in the basement. It provides low-energy underfloor heating for three floors of the building. 76% of the hot water is supplied by thermal solar energy. The solar panels are located on the green roof.
The building achieved the Minergie-P-Eco standards with the support of minimal thermal bridges, large windows, thermal mass, natural light utilization and use of ecological materials.
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