The strategic objective was to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of the highlands due to climate change, to avoid the great migrations to large cities where the consumption of energy and resources has been increasing every year. Ensuring the people of the cold highlands thermally comfortable places to live, the motivation for developing their regions will increase as well as climate protection and reduction of energy consumption. The specific objective of the project was the generation of knowledge and its transfer to rural communities of the cold highlands on energy efficient building techniques by application of passive house design elements to rural housing. A second specific objective was the dissemination of methodology and solutions to similar regions worldwide to support globally sustainable regional economy and climate protection.
The project aimed at obtaining better thermal comfort inside rural homes by using local materials, labour and the best viable construction techniques based on existing experience in the Andean zone (between 3,000 and 5,000 meters above sea level). As a new element in this concept, renewable energy sources – mainly on the basis of solar radiation – was integrated. The core concept of this research was based on passive house design analysis with components specially adapted due to climate change. The used method was the analysis of time-dependent thermal processes employing energy simulation software for designing greenhouses and skylights attached to rural homes with typical dimensions. Parameter variations and sensitivity analysis are included. The model was validated by comparing of the simulation results with monitoring results from the thermal diagnosis of test houses.