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2…Authors’ Work in the Field of Energy Efficiency and Timber-Glass Construction

2…Authors’ Work in the Field of Energy Efficiency and Timber-Glass Construction

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1.2 Authors’ Work in the Field of Energy Efficiency


Fig. 1.1 Scheme of different activities carried out by the University of Maribor, Faculty of Civil

Engineering, linked to demands arising from the construction industry and economy

via cooperating with the relevant branches of business, with Slovene prefabricated

timber-frame house manufacturers who realize the vitality of making progress in

the field of timber construction. A considerable part of the civil engineering business is said to have become environmentally aware and, following the demands of

the modern market, also well informed as far as the basics of energy-efficient

construction are concerned, which leads us to consider the importance of awareness

building among the broader public sector, end users of energy-efficient buildings

and particularly among future experts—current students who will use their

knowledge in practice and see to its upgrading and further expansion. Consequently, we transfer scientific research findings into the process of education as well

as into organization of expert meetings discussing energy efficiency in the domains

of civil engineering and architecture. Through such education and by informing

experts and future designers, we participate in broadening the knowledge as well as

in building awareness of the importance of eco-friendly design approaches.

1.2.1 Students’ Workshops on Timber-Glass Buildings

Creating design ideas for timber-glass energy-efficient buildings was the central

point of study workshops carried out from 2010 to 2012. Starting with projects for

a single-family timber house in 2010, the first step was to inform students about

the basics of energy efficiency, Zˇegarac Leskovar et al. [3]. The follow-up


1 Introduction

Fig. 1.2 Ground floor plan of the Sovica Kindergarten, Zˇegarac Leskovar and Premrov [4]

workshops with a focus on public building design were marked with more complexity, presenting a logical upgrade. In 2011, the participating students designed

kindergartens and multi-purpose buildings for a small community of Destrnik,

Slovenia, Zˇegarac Leskovar and Premrov [4]; while in 2012, they dealt with

residential and municipal buildings for another Slovenian community, Podlehnik,

Zˇegarac Leskovar and Premrov [5]. Both communities are interested in constructing one of the buildings designed by our students. The Sovica Kindergarten, a Project for the Community

of Destrnik

The building is divided into two parts which slide past each other. The result is a

compact form, which functionally divides the kindergarten into classrooms and

other areas (Figs. 1.2 and 1.3).

The kindergarten is designed in the timber-frame panel structural system. The

average U-value of the thermal envelope is 0.10 W/m2K. Although glass is not

treated as a load-bearing material, it has to be designed with utmost care in order to

benefit from the solar gain potential. The selected configuration of the faỗade

Fig. 1.3 Model of the Sovica

Kindergarten, Zegarac

Leskovar and Premrov [4]

1.2 Authors’ Work in the Field of Energy Efficiency


glazing is 4E-12-4-12-E4 with Ug = 0.51 W/m2K, g = 52 % and Uf = 0.73

W/m2K. The share of glazing in the south-oriented faỗade is 45 %. Roof glazing is

additionally integrated in order to transfer natural light into spaces which are not

sufficiently daylight through the faỗade glazing. The shape factor of the building is

0.7 m-1, indicating a relatively compact form. The building is equipped with

active technical systems, a heat pump and a cooling unit. The calculated annual

heating demand is 14 kWh/m2a.

Authorship of the University of Maribor, Faculty of Civil Engineering:

Architectural design: Maša Kresnik, Sanda Moharicˇ, Tajda Potrcˇ and Anja

Patekar, Students of Architecture;

Structural design: Anja Pintaricˇ and Maruša Retuzˇnik, Students of Civil


Supervision: Assistant Professor Vesna Zˇegarac Leskovar, Architect and Professor

Miroslav Premrov, Civil Engineer. Single-Family Passive House Marles

In 2012, a local national company Marles Hiše Maribor, a manufacturer of timberframe panel houses, commissioned a study for the development of different

innovative models of timber-glass energy-efficient houses among which they

selected the best prototype with the intention of production and market launch. The

house presented in Fig. 1.4 is a winning project, which is currently being offered as

a standard prefabricated house type of the Marles company, Marles [6].

The single-family house with a ground floor area of 150 m2 is constructed in the

timber-frame panel system with the average U-value of opaque elements of the

thermal envelope being 0.1 Wm2K. The glazing surfaces in the faỗade and roof

allow for an optimal daylight and comfortable indoor living climate. The active

technical systems are a compact unit with a heat pump and heat recovery ventilation. The calculated energy demand for space heating is 15 kWh/m2a.

Fig. 1.4 Visualization of the

single-family house Marles


1 Introduction

Authorship of the University of Maribor, Faculty of Civil Engineering:

Architectural design: Maša Kresnik and Sanda Moharicˇ, Students of Architecture;

Structural design: Miha Pukšicˇ, Students of Civil Engineering;

Energy design: Klara Mihalicˇ, Anzˇe Rosec, students of Civil Engineering;

Supervision: Assistant Professor Vesna Zˇegarac Leskovar, Architect, Professor

Miroslav Premrov and Assistant Professor Erika Kozem Šilih, Civil Engineers.

1.3 The Content of the Book

The current book has been written in order to present the importance of combining

two basic design approaches, the architectural and structural, both focusing on

energy-efficient problem solving.

The book consists of four chapters. This chapter is an introduction to the topic

of energy-efficient timber-glass buildings. It explains the importance of the relevant integration of the sciences of architecture and civil engineering on the one

hand and that of research and academic work along with the newest trends and

requirements of modern timber-glass construction, on the other. Chapter 2 presents

the basic principles of energy-efficient design, with the focus on parameters that

influence the energy performance of a building. Timber’s material characteristics

are accurately described in Chap. 3 which also lists general types of timber

structural systems, describes computational models and methods and discusses

stability problems. Chapter 4 presents material characteristics of glass along with

the research results related to the combined use of timber and glass from the

viewpoint of energy and structural stability.

We hope the findings of this book will act as beneficial encouragement and

inspiration for further researches and for more successful energy-related problem

solving in Europe and elsewhere.


1. McLeod V (2009) Detail in contemporary timber architecture. Laurence King Publishing Ltd

2. Wurm J (2007) Glass structures: design and construction of self-supporting skins. Birkhäuser

Verlag AG Basel-Boston_Berlin

3. Zˇegarac Leskovar V, Premrov M, Lukicˇ M, Vene Zˇ (2010) Delavnica Lesena nizkoenergijska

hiša (Workshop on Timber Low-energy House). E-zavod, Zavod za celovite rešitve

4. Zˇegarac Leskovar V, Premrov M (2011) Architectural design approach for energy-efficient

timber frame public buildings. University of Maribor, Maribor Faculty of Civil Engineering

5. Zˇegarac Leskovar V, Premrov M (2013) Educational projects on energy-efficient timber

buildings, architectural workshop for the municipality of Podlehnik. University of Maribor,

Slovenia (Faculty of Civil Engineering)

6. Marles (2013) Marles future: promotional catalogue of the Marles company

Chapter 2

Energy-Efficient Building Design

Abstract The current chapter discusses a number of important aspects whose

influence on the energy efficiency of new buildings calls for their careful consideration as early as in the design phase. With the basics of energy-efficient

building design figuring in Sect. 2.1, the next important topic contained in Sect. 2.2

deals with commonly used classification systems determining the energy efficiency

level of buildings. In order to understand energy-efficient design principles, basic

facts on energy flows in buildings are given in Sect. 2.3. The relation between the

building design, climatic influences and the building site analysis can be found in

Sect. 2.4. Section 2.5 introduces a set of main design parameters, such as orientation, shape of the building, zoning of interior spaces and the building components. Description of the building components focuses mainly on those composing

the building thermal envelope, with glazing surfaces and timber construction being

only briefly presented, while a more detailed specification of the two materials

follows in Chaps. 3 and 4. For the complexity of energy-efficient design, passive

design strategies comprising passive solar heating, cooling, ventilation and daylighting are considered in Sect. 2.6. Finally, Sect. 2.7 provides an overview of the

role of active technical systems, since they have become an indispensable constituent element of contemporary energy-efficient houses.

2.1 Basics of Energy-Efficient Building Design

Climate-conscious architecture, bioclimatic architecture or energy-efficient architecture are commonly used terms presenting specific approaches in contemporary

architectural building design, which have to be applied in conjunction with the

structural, technical and aesthetic aspects of architecture. Nevertheless, general

guidelines related to building design along with its relation to the environment are

not a novelty since they are to some extent based on vernacular architectural

principles having existed for centuries. On the other hand, the reflection of the

current global energy situation is seen in the demand for energy-efficient building

V. Zegarac Leskovar and M. Premrov, Energy-Efficient Timber-Glass Houses,

Green Energy and Technology, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4471-5511-9_2,

Ó Springer-Verlag London 2013


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