Passive House in Komatevo, Plovdiv

Komatevo is a low-rise residential neighborhood in the city of Plovdiv with large sunny patios and a nice view to the Rhodopi mountain. There lies one of our most challenging projects assigned to the studio by a young family, open minded and with modern views.

This is a contemporary family passive house with a spacious living room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, carport with 2 lots, storage and technical rooms, gym and warehouses. Its construction combines the advantages of the reinforced concrete construction with the lightweight timber structures, with which we already have abundant experience for creating the entire external envelope. Construction never compromising quality, with most cost-effective, yet environmentally friendly and innocuous materials. The indoor comfort is exceptional, provided by the interior design and the garden, which merge completely through the large facing south windows and mountain view. The passive house ensures the thermal comfort throughout the year. The fresh air in all premises is provided by the ventilation system that works continuously and stores huge amounts of energy through the heat recovery system with the highest currently attainable technological efficiency.

The forms of the house are simple however designed with precise and meticulous detail for exceptional quality performance and durability of all components of the building.
The house contains no basement floor. This design decision saved a lot of unnecessary investments in underground excavation and concrete works and costly hydro insulation solutions. For full avoidance of thermal bridges and an always warm floor during the winter under the living and dining rooms, the building’s foundations are laid over the thermal insulation. In seismic areas this innovative technology is achievable only with utmost attention and engineering professionalism. Our studio is well experienced in this technology due to the several similar and successfully completed projects.

On the facades, thick thermal insulation systems are applied, plastered or in combination with ventilated cladding with high quality fiber-cement boards. Glass curtain walls with extra large triple glazed windows divide the living room from the garden. In a passive house the real heating during winter is provided by the windows through which the sun heats the premises.

The domestic hot water is heated by the sunshine almost all year round. The cooling demand in summer is inevitable in the hot Plovdiv climate, but thanks to the intensive external solar protection it is reduced to near-zero levels and the remaining share is covered by a small thermal pump that is as well used during critical cold winter days for heating. The house needs only 2367 kWh per year for heating, accounting for 12 kWh/m2 for a 202 m2 net usable living area (excluding the walls, pillars, stairs, pipes, service shafts). According to the energy prices in 2015 this makes only about 45 lev per month (23 Euro). Only 682 kWh per year are needed for cooling, which is 3 kWh/m2 or 130 lev (67 Euro) for the whole summer. To compare with a house containing the same area but covering a “normal” energy efficiency standard, it would demand at least 500 lev (255 Euro) per month for heating and 750 lev (384 Euro) for the whole summer for cooling. Whatsoever the comfort of living in a passive house can not be compared with such of a “normal” one.

We are fully convinced of the advantages in applying the Passivhaus standard and our clients are not making any exception. This specific project needs no more than 7.5% additional investment costs compared with conventional construction, not compromising the aesthetics. That is why for more than five years the studio disregards the “ordinary” construction methods by the means of applying the German energy standard on a daily basis. We are constantly gaining experience and satisfaction with the achieved results.


Sq. Area: 315
Designer: Studio APXE
Design Team: Lead architect: Georgi Nikolov, project architect Boshko Takov
Investor: Private investor