Concept House Project on Display in Bilbao


A brand new concept house opens in Bilbao on 10 October. The house explores the interaction between high-quality architecture, indoor climate and energy savings.

First stop is Getxo harbour in Bilbao. Later VELUX Atika will visit several Mediterranean cities.

VELUX Atika experiments with sustainable housing concepts prompted by current European legislation to reduce energy consumption for cooling, heating and ventilation. The house endeavours to combine interesting architecture, pleasant indoor climate, innovative energy and daylight solutions to create dwellings of the future suited for sub-tropical life styles and climates.

- We have taken the best from the Mediterranean architectural tradition and created a top-modern house, centered around a patio and with different slopes of the roofs to resemble a typical Mediterranean "white" village on a hill top. The windows are strategically placed according to room function and orientation, and we have put in 160 mm insulation in the light structure to secure a constant indoor climate winter and summer, says Javier Aja Cantalejo, Project Designer from the Spanish architect company ACXT-IDOM that is responsible for the design of Atika.

Solar panels provide cooling in VELUX Atika
The high energy efficiency of the VELUX Atika house is achieved by the basic design of the structures as well as by new solar technology and electronic control systems.

- The solar cooling system in VELUX Atika is quite new. Basically it functions like traditional air conditioning, but instead of electricity the solar system is based on thermal energy from the solar panels fitted on the roofs. For VELUX it is important to show that we are at the leading edge of developments, experimenting with new energy saving technologies, for instance solar cooling, because energy savings is on the agenda in Southern Europe due to new European legislation.

VELUX Atika is designed to optimise the use of natural ventilation and night cooling with the help of an advanced electronic control system that automatically monitors the indoor climate. The system regulates the indoor climate by automatically opening and closing the windows and rollers shutters and by activating the cooling/heating system according to pre-set parameters like temperature, humidity, time of day, season, etc. The system is based on the patented io-homecontrol® technology that ensures high energy efficiency but also pleasant indoor climate at all times.

VELUX Atika to inspire architecture in sub-tropical climates
The first stop for the VELUX Atika structure is the Getxo harbour in Bilbao where it will serve as lounge and exhibition area in connection with the VELUX 5 Oceans race start and the International VELUX Award event. VELUX Atika will stay in Bilbao until June next year and then be "on tour" from 2007-2010 in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal to stimulate discussions on new opportunities in building design.

- At VELUX we want to promote architecture that enhances people's life quality and a sustainable development of societies. The VELUX Atika project is part of our mission to explore how we can offer people attractive architecture with pleasant indoor climate while at the same time reducing energy consumption. It is rewarding that for instance our solar panels can be used in solutions for solar cooling that we consider a technology of the future, says Michael K. Rasmussen, Brand manager in VELUX.

Facts about VELUX Atika
VELUX Atika is a typical 100 m2 one-family dwelling containing a living room with kitchen and bedroom with adjoining bathroom and closet room. The dwelling is built around a patio that can be accessed from all rooms.

The design of VELUX Atika is inspired by Mediterranean building tradition. The house is organised around a patio that every room opens up to, inspired by Sevillian building tradition. The roofs have different slopes inspired by the view of a typical Mediterranean "white" village on a hill top. The rooms face different orientations according to function and the windows are placed to give optimum daylight conditions and indoor comfort.

Lightweight structures and insulation
VELUX Atika has a steel supporting structure, with additional light weight steel constructions, ensuring a stable and safe construction during the assembling, dismounting and transport. A lightweight steel construction also makes it possible to achieve 160 mm of insulation in the roof and walls. The insulation protects against the sun and heat at Southern latitudes to secure a constant and pleasant indoor climate.

Natural ventilation VELUX Atika demonstrates an active building design based on natural ventilation with strategically placed roof windows according to room function. All windows are equipped with roller shutters that automatically open and close according to time of day, use of rooms, season, etc.

Solar heating/cooling The heating/cooling system of the house is based on hot water from VELUX solar panels. An absorption cooling system has been installed in VELUX Atika to serve as air conditioning system to cool the house during the hot season. Instead of electric power the air conditioning system is powered by hot water from the solar panels. The solar panels also produce domestic hot water for the building.

Automatic building control
VELUX Atika features the latest technologies in integrated building management. All windows, blinds, shades, etc. are electronically controlled and opened/closed automatically according to pre-set temperatures, humidity, time of day, time of year, etc. The control system is based on io-homecontrol, a wireless communication protocol developed by leading firms in comfort technology including Honeywell, Somfy, The Hörmann Group and VELUX. The automatic operation of the building ensures a pleasant indoor climate at all times as well as optimised energy efficiency.

VELUX Atika around Europe
VELUX Atika opens in Bilbao on 10 October and will stay in Bilbao until May 2007. After that the house will start its tour around Europe according to the following tentative schedule:

October 2007-September 2008: Italy, several locations
October 2008-January 2009: France, several locations
February 2009-January 2010: Spain, several locations
February 2010: Portugal, several locations

The people behind VELUX Atika The first conceptual ideas for the VELUX Atika project were formed by a young Spanish architect Roberto Aparicio who won the Spanish VELUX Award in 2005.

The Spanish architecture and engineering firm ACXT/DIOM, the company that collaborated with Frank Gehry in the realisation of Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, is responsible for the design of VELUX Atika. Modultec has built the house in their factory in Gijon, transported it to Bilbao and assembled the house on-site.

Facts about VELUX
VELUX creates better living environments with daylight and fresh air. In our daily business we communicate and cooperate with a large number of architects worldwide; we are currently initiating research and demonstration projects in the field of daylight quality and indoor comfort. VELUX window systems suit the climate and architecture in most parts of the world.

VELUX offers roof windows, skylights, sun tunnels, flat roof systems, sun protection and screening, decoration, installation products, products for remote control and thermal solar panels for installation in roofs. A persistent focus on quality, innovation and service has made VELUX one of the strongest brands in the global building material industry.
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