The main design idea is to build an ecological and economical house, where the applied energy-efficient and ecological features shall be reasonable, as at heart, it’s all centred on people- users, with their needs, which architects try to satisfy in the first place. It is an attempt to discover balance and select the most appropriate ecological solutions from the currently available sources of knowledge (LEED certification, passive housing, Cradle to Cradle philosophy)

Proposed form of the building constitutes a testimony of a loyal simplicity, modesty and a structural calmness which doesn’t aggressively interfere in its surroundings but harmoniously complements it. The shape of the house shyly pays homage to a timeless minimalist architecture, characterized by elegance, consequence, dignity and well-considered functionalism. The designer’s intention was to obtain an ageless solid for mentally ageless people with passion to the world that surrounds them, its nature and their life.
Seen from its front end, the building is a monolithic solid, southwardly revealing its bright and delicate interior to a garden.
Having regard to high land prices, the house is designed on the possibly smallest plot (bigger than 373,5m²).
Functional simplicity of the building increases its usefulness and enables designing a floor area that really meets occupants expectations, excluding building, finishing and heating an unwanted area.
The building is vertically divided into 3 function groups – 3 floors:
1. Zone one – a day zone, open to all occupants, located on the ground floor, with available: machine room, vestibule, bathroom, disabled person’s room, kitchen and high and spacious living-room. 2 additional way outs to the garden were designed: from the kitchen (family dinners and barbecues) and from the living-room (evening relaxation).
2. Zone two – an intermediate zone, where the children’s room is located, as well as the common bathroom and so-called multifunctional room (that can be used as a dining room, a library or a place where one can study or play). As it is common to use a dining room to do one’s homework, work or play, creating a multifunctional space located on a mezzanine with a high ceiling seemed to be appropriate. All zones are spacious and connected to a living-room. Standing on the mezzanine, one can both see the living-room and look outside through the opposite horizontal glass, which also provide a lot of sunlight.
3. Zone three – an intimate zone, the parents’ floor with rooms, such as: a quiet bedroom with a wardrobe, a bathroom and a terrace, where one can see a panorama of neighbouring houses’ roofs. The bedroom is obviously a place to sleep and relax. Therefore, we use this zone in the evening, to unwind after all the day troubles. The terrace is open to all occupants, however, they can only go there through an entrance leading from the corridor, so the parents’ bedroom is not a connecting room and it keeps its intimate nature.

Application of the LEED certification requirements: bicycle storage hooks in the garage, minimal footprint of the house, reduction of water consumption, application of unprocessed materials (wooden construction, used bricks, floor made of boards taken from a demolished house), transport limitation (i.a. wood needed for the construction is delivered from the nearest sawmill), friendly demolition and recycling of the materials, clay on one of the walls assures friendly microclimate, etc.
Application of the passive housing principle: orientation with respect to cardinal points, air quality inside the house provided by a supply-exhaust ventilation with recuperation and a gravel ground heat exchanger, tightness (application of a no tear layer of foil), thermal insulation (application of a tight and properly thick insulation and its suitable arrangement - alternatingly), elements that shade in summer (steel sliding elements), compact solid of the building, thermal bridges reduction (i.a. aerated concrete block located at point of junction of the foundation and the load-bearing wall), thermal storage walls (there are 3 of them in the house) etc.
Application of the Cradle to Cradle philosophy principle: cheap used bricks (cost about 0.20zl per piece) taken from demolished blocks of flats and utility buildings, properly selected into two categories (suitable for elevations and small architecture, that is: foot paces, terraces, refuse heaps, the car port, the fence).
Boarding in the outside wall, as well as the terrace’s floor (2nd floor) are made of recycled boards (Euro palettes). Floor boards were taken mostly from demolished log house. They are properly cut and preserved, so that after being applied in one product (house elevation), they can be reused in the interior decoration (floor boards).

1. Vertical communication for the disabled is ensured by the specially designed hides under the floor, where the extendable aluminium rails are mounted. After putting them on the stairs, one can easily transport a wheelchair upwards.
2. An apple-tree planted in front of the building has a symbolic meaning. The tree reflects the lap of time since the erection of the house and putting down family roots whereas its fruits symbolises the offspring. When spring comes, the tree blooms with white flowers, what represents the occupants that become more active after the winter.
3. Deciduous trees on the east, south and west sides of the house, protect the elevation against overheating in the summer and let the sunlight through in the winter, when their leaves already fell off. Conifers (spruces) on the north side protect the house against cold winds that may decrease the temperature inside the building.
4. There are only showers in the house – it make sit possible to reduce water consumption by up to 44.000 litres a year, and in this way, to reduce carbon dioxide emission by more than 1,4 tones.
5. Taps and showers have water saving perlators – reduction of water consumption by about 40 %.
6. All mixers have photocell switches – it may save up to 5 litres at one time.
7. The house is equipped with a LED lighting system with motion sensors.
8. There is an electric board by the way out, to which all the devices with a stand-by mode are connected, so that one can cut off the redundant consumption of power with a single button.
9. An automatic temperature reduction by 2 degrees at night is available, what reduces the heating costs by about 10%.
10. Application of the ReEntry carpet, produced from the received used carpeting, in the children’s rooms.
11. Steel shading elements also protect against burglary as they have locks mounted.

1. Fully automatic biomass boilers (wood particles, pellets, oats) operating for use of installations of the central heating and the hot tap water. Standard heating – radiator heating in bedrooms and bathrooms and canal radiators system in the living-room, where there is a lot of glass fillings.
2. Solar installation providing hot tap water for about 70% of days in a year. For the remaining 30% of days, the h.t.w. installation is additionally heated by a biomass boiler.
3. Supply-exhaust ventilation with recuperation in the counter-flow heat exchanger , recapturing up to 95% of heat from the removed air.
4. Gravel ground heat exchanger which provides the initial heating of the air from the outside in the winter and the natural “air conditioning” in the summer. Furthermore, on the gravel bed of the GHE, the natural membrane forms, which cleans the air from the outside.
5. Rainwater from the roof recovery and its reuse for the gardening.
6. Installation of sewage from the washstands and showers. That sewage shall be treated in the special filters located in the outside „technology cellar” and subsequently turned back to the building, to the toilet flushing installation.



Basic data:
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Architect: Jakub Lewkowicz
Minimal area of a plot – 380m²
Footprint – 135m²
Floorage - 188m²
Year-long indicator of the demand for non-renewable primary energy for heating, ventilation and production of hot water and cooling -25,64 kWh/m²/year
Demand for final energy - 48,72 kWh/m²/year
Proportional share of renewable energy in overall demand for energy - 89%

Jakub Lewkowicz