SOLETA zeroEnergy  -  F.A.Q.

1. How can we find out how much do Soleta houses cost?

To receive a quote with the house model chosen, you just need to make an offer request on the website on the "View the price of the desired house" button, answering a few short questions. Within 24 hours you will receive the offer, prepared according to your requirements.

2. Soleta houses are prefabricated? How long does a house manufacturing take? How are they transported at the destination?

The elements composing the Soleta houses are 100% prefabricated, they are assembled on site without the need for any additional processing. Soleta houses can be transported by road (TIR trucks) or anywhere in the world with 20 and 40 feet containers. Actual delivery periods are between 3 and 4 months, but it may increase given the large number of applications to which we must respond.

4. How much do the zeroenergy options cost?

Price of zeroEnergy variations highly dependent on two factors listed above: user’s consumption and energetic potential of the location area. So the price of zeroEnergy installations can be calculated only after we fiind out about the area where the house will be located and the summed value of electrical powers for all electrical consumers of the house. However, as an example, we attached an offer to each Soleta model regarding the zeroEnergy basic electric package. Its extension, however, is very simple.

3. What does the zeroEnergy Soleta system mean?

We considered two distinct objectives:

        1. Reducing energy losses to a minimum by passive methods (thermal insulation, pressurisation, natural lighting, etc.) and active methods (energy recovery, economic electrical components, etc.).

        2. Equipping the house with unconventional energy systems needed to cover its own consumption and to get the zeroEnergy standard.

If, in the case of the first objective, the solutions we chose apply to all Soleta houses we manufacture meanwhile for the second objective things are getting complicated, because two variables appear: firstly, the energy consumption is closely related to the lessee habits and its economic attitude and secondly, the potential and unconventional energy sources in the area where the house is built. In other words, the zeroEnergy system of a Soleta house built in Navodari differs greatly from that of a Soleta built in Brasov. It differs both as a component and as a financial value.

For this reason we decided to include in Soleta offers the zeroEnergy system only as an option and for each case we shall propose the ideal solution for your house.

5. What is the warranty period for Soleta houses?

The 10-year warranty period involves all parts of the house, subject to certain minimum regular maintenance measures. However, it should be noted that the life expectancy is much longer; a Soleta house can be proudly left in will!

6. From what types of timber are the Soleta houses made? How shall we protect it?

The structure is made of laminated softwood (class GL24), the roof is made in natural pine timber shingle, handmade by a Romanian traditional ancient technique. Both the exterior and interior floors are all of pine timber. For the construction of Soleta houses, we are using 95% natural materials only. All wood treatments and finishing materials are made with organic substances imported from Europe.

7. How do we heat a Soleta house in winter? How much does it cost?

In order to heat the Soleta houses, we recommend several variants, different one from each other from the cost and "convenience" of the operation point of view:

1. Installation of energy production through fermentation of plant residues (compost).

2. Wood heating station

3. Heat Pump

 

Note: For any of the Soleta models we recommend the option of a thermal mass that, in the cold periods, will compensate for a large part of the thermal energy needed by the house.

Costs for Soleta houses heating depend on the technical solution chosen. If, for example, we chose a compost facility, monthly direct costs do not exceed 10 lei. In case of a heat pump installation, the monthly amount is between 10 and 150 lei, depending on whether the plant is supplied from the public network or from the home sources. In this case we must take into account the initial investment in the unconventional electricity generation systems, and their depreciation.

8. How do Soleta houses cool in summer?

Like when heating them, a performant thermal insulation reduces the energy demand for cooling the houses, our proposal is ceiling cooling with a special solar installation. For details please send me an e-mail.

9. How does domestic water heat?

With the help of standard solar panels, and in the absence of solar energy, through the heat source of the house, one of those proposed by us for heating the house.

10. Where is the energy stored?

Electricity, in case the house is equiped with a photovoltaic plant, is stored in the automotive battery. For thermal energy storage, it is necessary to opt for achieving a thermal mass attached to the house, whose sizing will provide the energy storage needed for the normal functioning of the house.

11. How do Soleta houses manage to turn towards the sun?

Soleta houses must be with the main facade oriented towards east or west, in order to expose towards south the roof on which solar panels are installed.

12. What are the materials used for the roof manufacturing? But for the windows?

The roof is made of natural softwood shingle, processed and assembled by hand by craftsmen methods. We preferred this solution both for the sustainability contribution but also for the charm that complements its architecture. The lifespan for this solution is at least 50 years in the climatic conditions of Romania. House’s windows are made of softwood, they have dual argon chamber, the heat transfer coefficient being of 0.72w/sqmK.

13. How are the Soleta houses lighted?

They are very bright all day so the artificial lighting is not needed. After dusk, only LED lighting is used and it can be optionally controlled by the home management system, in this case the savings of the electricity needed for the artificial lighting are up to 45%.

14. Soleta is made of timber. Why is it an ecological house? Is it resistant in time?

Yes, at first sight it is a paradox, forests are the lungs of the earth, we cut forests to make eco houses! In the Romanian reality this is the smaller evil, but in countries where timber harvesting is coordinated and responsible, wooden houses are the expression of environmentalism. Here's why:

For the production, transportation and building of a wooden house less power is consumed than for a house made of brick, concrete, steel, etc.

And if we are talking about energy consumption, we are talking about pollution, too. The energy of the present is obtained from conventional sources: oil, gas, coal.

So, in short:

- Wood is a renewable resource, fossil fuels are not!

- Out of all commonly used construction materials wood has the lowest energy consumption and the lowest emission of CO2.

Wooden houses are better thermo insulated, so it uses less energy for heating them.

- In responsible countries, the use of timber in construction encourages the development of forestry, namely the reduction of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

- Wood stores the carbon absorbed during the tree’s life, so by restoring forests through replanting we are increasing the absorption capacity of the CO2 in the atmosphere – we have more trees than before!

- Wood is created by photosynthesis meaning that wood stores the solar energy given away at the end of the life cycle by burning it, thus substituting the energy obtained by burning fossil fuels.

15. Why stumps foundation?

This foundation solution, valid for Soleta models with an area of up to 90sqm, is ecological, cheap, behaves very well in earthquakes, is simple and is done very quickly. Why not?

16. Is Soleta comfortable in winter?

Of course, it is more comfortable than any other type of conventional housing. The certified degree of thermal insulation classifies Soleta houses in the A class energetic efficiency

17. The shape of Soleta houses is quite rare, why did you choose this architecture?

Indeed, the first three Soleta models have a more special shape, by which we searched for the reduction of the exposed exterior surfaces as to optimize the energy losses but also for the technological simplification as to reduce manufacturing costs. The semi-cylinder is the geometric primitive from which we started, the current shape being nothing but an approximation of it.

18. Multiple storage spaces!

Each Soleta Plus house has several storage areas included, besides natural spaces (closets, dressing, built wardrobes) there are other spaces created in the ceilings of the bathrooms and halls that can be used both for storing rarely used objects and as technical areas for the location of house’s installations.

19. Excellent price/quality relation!

Soleta houses are made of the best materials in line with the best technology. Our goal is to redefine quality in the construction area from Romania and we can not get the recognition through compromise! It goes without saying that all these cost more but Soleta convinces you that you made the best deal! You never earned so much for a low price! Except "Black Friday" ...

20. Can Soleta projects be personalized/adjusted to individual needs?

For those who want a house perfectly adapted to their needs, we can modify the Soleta projects or create entirely new models. For further details you need to send us a message in which to describe in detail the desired solutions.

21. What solutions do we propose for the interior design of Soleta houses?

Soon, for each Soleta model we will propose complete solutions for interior design, created together with three of the most renowned interior designers in Romania. The proposed solutions will adapt the interior of Soleta houses to the destination chosen by the buyer: young family house, workshop, house for students, hunter’s house, playground for children, grandparents’ house, camping, etc.

For this we turned towards both known brands: Clayre&EEF, Hansen, Edwin Jagger, Churchill, Swedese, Tolix, Ercol, Eames, Moustache, etc., and young Romanian product designers. We will amaze you!

22. What is the innovation which transforms Soleta in a totally original concept?

It certainly is the ingenious modular system: even if you choose to purchase a smaller model, then it can be extended both in surface and functionality by adding additional optional modules, which are mounted like the plug & play system: no modifications of the structure or house demolitions are required, they just interconnects with the house. Thus, the houses can be extended by adding them other rooms, additional bathrooms, energetic modules, tool storage, greenhouse, pool, terraces, technical rooms, etc. And if later you will not want anymore the module you bought, it can be resold to someone else, thus creating a parallel market of Soleta modules.

23. How are wooden houses perceived in Romania, which is the Romanians’ attitude towards wooden sustainable constructions?

Unfortunately Romania still remains a difficult market for wooden constructions and quite uninformed about global trends of recent years towards the development of economic constructions and with minimal impact on the environment. Although there have been huge strides in terms of energy savings in the population’s households through a national program of energy efficiency and rehabilitation of buildings, individually there is still little interest in energy performance and sustainability. Currently, both domestic economic difficulties and especially misapplication of wooden construction regulations led to the undermining market confidence in the quality and advantages of wooden construction. It is exerted a constant pressure of the market towards lower prices for this type of construction (which in Romania are falsely considered the cheapest houses), bringing with it a sharp decline in the quality and ultimately disappointment. Also for this reason, exports of houses in Romania for Europe are seen with distrust, there are enough examples in which foreign citizens, seeking prices as lower as possible, came to buy houses in Romania and later to declare they are very dissatisfied with the quality thereof. Obviously there are exceptions; there are seriously managed companies but not enough in number to change the direction for good.

24. How did Soleta house appear, which is its history?

Soleta house concept developed within the FOUNDATION OF INVENTIONS AND SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES – JUSTIN CAPRA, a Romanian non-governmental organization that promotes applied inventions of young people. I am the coordinator of Soleta, my name is Catalin Butmalai and in 16 years of experience I designed and built wooden houses made of laminated timber, made in the post & beam architecture or rustic houses made of interlocked beams. For me, wooden houses, energy saving and respect for nature are passions and a way of life. Through the Soleta project we wanted in the first place to define an innovative architecture to please everyone but at the same time to be as economical and environmentally friendly as possible. In conclusion, we love wooden constructions; wood for us is more than a construction material. All Soleta family houses have a special charm, details and proportions were carefully studied so that the final image of each Soleta house becomes a decorative accessory and not just a trivial element of the building.

25. Where can we visit a Soleta house?

For now, you can visit the zeroEnergy One Soleta house only, publicly exposed in Bucharest, in front of the USA embassy and near Otopeni International Airport. It is situated on a land area of 1500sqm arranged as a botanical garden by the students of the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bucharest; there are over 160 species of ornamental plants chosen so that the ambient color changes every week. Also, a small exotic fish pond and an artesian fountain fill the atmosphere of relaxation around the house.

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Contact:

E-mail: office@soleta.ro

Phone:+40 727 765 382 (+40727 SOLETA)

Tech. inf. phone: +40 723 300 301