About us: 2013/2014

Druck

in the evening sun with th eagle mountain in the background 18.4.2013
in the evening sun with th eagle mountain in the background 18.4.2013

We are in 2014 now, James and I are still working on our dream, to build our Eco-House to the Passivhaus standard. We have not moved in yet, as the heating has not been checked, we are only just leaving the Orthodox Christmas and New Year behind,  Montenegrin people start returning from holiday. Come 27.01.2014, it will be one year since we started to build! Lots of water has run down the Sopot, since we received the building permission about a year ago and bought the plot in May 2007!

Lemon & orange trees 08.01.2014
Lemon & orange trees 08.01.2014

Montenegro is an ecological State, but …? It was proclaimed in 1991. After the World Sustainable Development Summit in Johannesburg in 2002,

Risan in the winter 2012
Risan in the winter 2012

the Government of Montenegro adopted the decision on intensifying activities related to the implementation of sustainable development as an ecological state. The constitution was adopted in 2007.
But building ‘GREEN’, and a Passivhaus in Montenegro, is still not the done thing. Building in an ecological way, well, we have our own

Recycling, Montenegro's way 2013
Recycling, Montenegro’s way 2013

Montenegrin style and don’t need, that, this would be one answer. Making money, building in a non sustainable way like the Russians or others, go to Budva and find out yourself!
Sustainability is not a “Topic du jour”!
Poor construction details will impair thermal performance, thermal bridging, poor air tightness. Thin walls are normal here, mildew and mould also!
So why do we want to do that, why build a sustainable house here? James and I fell in love with this beautiful country, Montenegro in 2006, and decided we wanted to live here. In 2007 we managed to buy a small plot in Risan, where we are hoping to build the ‘First’ EcoHouse to the German Passivhaus Standard in Risan, in the Unesco registered Kotorska Bay, Montenegro.
It has taken 6 years to get the paper work together, but now with full ‘planning and building permission’ in our hand, this year -2013- will be the year!
The PassivHaus Standard is the world’s leading energy efficiency standard, it can be applied to all manner of building typologies, including homes, offices, schools etc. etc.
So what is Passivhaus?

The ‘Passive House’ is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world with 30,000 buildings realised to date, the majority of those since 2000. The Passivhaus Standards strengths lie in the simplicity of its approach; build a house that has an excellent thermal performance, exceptional airtightness with mechanical ventilation!
The basic well publicised, performance requirements that tend to be recited: An annual energy consumption for space heating of 15 kWh/m2 yr A primary energy requirement of less than 120kWh/m2.yr (best practice being less than 70 kWh/m2.yr) An air leakage of less than 0.6 ach @50pa when tested in accordance with EN 13829 Perhaps they are also aware that the risk of overheating should be 10% (with best practice being less than 5%.)

There is little dispute now that buildings are substantial CO2 emitters and contribute to climate change (Reed and Wilkinson, 2008) The large footprint of houses/buildings on resources which are reliant on heating and air conditioning in our part of the world.
It’s been tough to get this far, but we will finish it. It’s January and the rain never seems to stop, although we need water as the winter has been very dry, we have had some beautiful weather. The weather has been beautiful and we have been able to get the outside of the house done. We are in the ‘PINK’!