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We at Vivacitas Homes developed a unique way to construct our buildings using CFS (cold formed steel) frames/panels for the wall and roof systems. We strongly recommend this method with which you can erect buildings in a very short time, buildings that can withstand strong seismic activity and strong winds.

The CFS panels are predesigned based on the architectural and structural drawings and are manufactured by automated machines that can be located in any part of the world, as they only need a simple file containing the drawing information.

However, these panels are NOT BE CONSIDERED PREFABRICATED. They are pre-engineered off site in the exact dimensions required by the project, in widths no more than 240 cm and length no more than 1300cm, that way the frames can be loaded easily on a truck or container and shipped worldwide to the construction site. If larger frames are required, they can be manufactured in pieces, transported/shipped in bundles to the site and be fabricated locally, reducing the freight cost.

 


CFS construction has all the applications as a standard construction method. From regular houses of up to 3 floors, small apartment buildings, office buildings, hotels, schools, hospitals and warehouse or storage facility of any size. Usually a building with no more than 4 floors can be erected entirely out of CFS panels. Higher buildings (4-12 floors) can be constructed in combination with additional structural systems and/or elements such as HRS (hot rolled steel) or reinforced concrete slabs, columns and beams. Our architects and engineers are responsible for the design of the building type chosen by the client and its appropriate construction system in accordance with all European regulations.

INITIAL PROCESS

  • Based on client desires and needs our architects develop an initial design concept. This concept is constantly changing until all details regarding the project are developed and approved by the client.
  • From a 2D plan the building is created in a 3D model for future analysis and visualizations. After the approval the project is transferred to our engineers which develop the main construction frame for the building. After further analysis of the structure, which takes place in several structural programs, the project is transferred to our detailer, who develops the file needed for manufacturing. All our structural and engineering analysis follow strictly the European and international building codes.
  • Once everything has been approved by the client, the complete project is finalized and sent to the client’s engineer who is responsible to inspect the correctness of the project and submit it to the authorities for building approval.
  • Once the building approval is secured the project is transferred for manufacturing. The manufacturers are responsible to precisely cut the steel elements and fabricate the frames, to our exact specifications, and prepare them for shipment. Time frame for this process varies depending on the building. For example panels for a house of 150 sq.m. will be fabricated and assembled in about 1-2 days. When delivered on site, a group of 4 people can erect the whole building to complete the wall and roof structure of the building in about 3-4 days.
  • The subcontractors responsible for the erection of the CFS frame panels will be trained and approved by the Vivacitas homes engineers.
  • The CFS structure is placed on a concrete slab foundation. This foundation should be constructed before hand and all plans and details of it will be provided in advance by the Vivacitas homes engineers.


MAIN CONSTRUCTION PROCESS

  • Our architects are certified as PASSIVE HOUSE DESIGNERS by the German passive house institute, incorporating the PHPP design program.
  • We design all our houses to be passive requiring the minimum amount of energy used for heating and cooling. Our objective is to reach an annual space heating/cooling demand no higher than 15 kWh/(m²a). We accomplish this by using proper insulation, air tightness of the building, and low energy windows.
  • Our recommended method is the use of MGO (magnesium sulfate) cement boards, EPS or ROCKWOOL insulation on the exterior, Glass wool insulation between the CFS studs, vapor and air barriers, attached to the CFS frames, low energy windows, and properly sealing the house to avoid air coming in or out.

  • Additionally, we propose the use of a low energy consumption Heat Recovery Ventilator with an air to air heat pump providing a constant comfortable temperature year-round at a minimal cost in electricity.
  • In order for the house to be ‘’Zero Energy House’’ we recommend the installation of a few PV (photovoltaic) panels for generating this minimal needed energy.
  • For the DHW(domestic hot water) we recommend the installation of solar water heater panels, with a separate boiler.
  • With the installation of the above system the energy that will be received from the grid will be an almost ZERO.
  • Alternatively the client could choose to reduce his initial cost and not to build a PASSIVE HOUSE by reducing the amount of insulation, the quality of the windows, and the installation of the heating/cooling/hot water system.


Depending on the local climate, the orientation and the location of the house the needs for insulation vary, which may reduce or increase the final construction cost.

Our projects include all the details and the final energy requirements as well as the yearly cost of energy.


ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION

In order to fulfill the EU requirements of near zero energy homes in force from 1.1.2020  we recommend the placement of PV (Photovoltaic) panels on the roof. Our houses will be zero energy ready, which means that the wiring will be in place if the client decides to install the PV panels on a later date. The house will be connected to the national grid, but the use of the PV panels will reduce the electricity imported from the grid, and also export electricity to the grid when not used by the house appliances. 

When no electricity is produced by the PV panels due to atmospheric conditions, electricity coming from the grid will be utilized. The intention is that in a period of a year the imported electricity from the grid to be almost even with the one produced by the PV panels.

PLUMBING INSTALLATION

In case that the building can not be connected to a canalization system we recommend that a water treatment system is installed. All the gray and black water will be processed and the filtered water can be used to water the garden. We also recommend the installation of a tank for collecting the rain/snow water, which will be connected to the plumbing system of the house providing a near self sufficiency. 


HVAC INSTALLATION

Air quality is a vital subject in our houses, as it has a strong connection with health and well being of the residents, that is why we incorporate ventilation systems in every house that we design. Also our goal is to create buildings with almost zero energy consumption and we tend to optimize every single service system. That is why recommend using a heat recovery unit. The unit allows for the heat contained within exhausted stale air, coming from rooms such as the bathrooms, the kitchen, to be extracted, and on his way out to heat the incoming fresh air. Also our unit has the ability to heat up or cool additionally the fresh air, through an AC unit incorporated inside the machine. 


Heat Recovery Ventilation Process

Warm, stale air is drawn out from the kitchen and bathrooms so it can be directed back towards the HRV unit. Fresh, cold external air is drawn in to the HRV unit from the outside. Heat from the warm stale air is extracted and used to heat the fresh incoming air. Importantly, this exchange of heat is achieved without crossing and mixing stale and fresh air streams with one another. The now warm fresh air is directed to the bedrooms and living area. Stale, cold air is exhausted out of the building.