The most energy efficient and sustainable villa in Spain is built in Marbella

The most energy efficient and sustainable villa in Spain is built in Marbella

The most energy efficient and sustainable villa in Spain is built in Marbella

The project, developed by Bright and designed by UDesign, has already won the International Property Award for the best residential architecture on the continent

Villa Alcuzcuz has been designed following the most demanding standards of sustainability and energy efficiency of the PassiveHaus concept

Marbella, Feb 11th 2020.- New architecture is increasingly committed to sustainable projects in which, in addition to natural materials, pollutant emissions and energy expenditure are reduced to a minimum. An ecological commitment that also reaches the prime housing sector and to which Villa Alcuzcuz adheres, being the first luxury residential villa in Spain built under the demanding standards of PassiveHaus (Passive House). The project, developed by Bright, has already been recognized by the prestigious International Property Awards with the awards “Best in Spain” and “Best in Europe” in the category of Architecture Single Residence.

Energy efficiency is part of the essence of the Passive House concept, developed in the 1980’s in Germany in order to build houses with minimum energy consumption, and if at all possible, null consumption. Buildings are responsible for up to 56% of the pollution in our cities, compared to 13% that comes from car emissions, and they consume around 40% of primary energy. A problem of enormous magnitude in which the European Directive 2010/31 wants to remedy, by requiring all buildings to have as near to zero energy consumption as of December 31, 2020.

‘Passive housing’ does not use contaminating energy methods, such as burning fuel, to produce and create a comfortable room temperature. Thus, this type of construction discards the usual cooling or heating mechanisms and yet manages to maintain an internal temperature of around 20ºC or 21ºC throughout the year. Over the course of a year, a Passive House consumes at most the equivalent of 1.5 litres of diesel or 1.5 m3 of natural gas (15kWh) to heat or cool each square meter of living space. This figure represents a reduction of more than 75 percent in energy consumption for air conditioning spaces, compared to the consumption in a typical building, while a new conventional building requires 6 to 10 (or even more) litres of diesel fuel per year and square meter of living space, depending on the quality and location of the building.

In Europe there are only 25,000 homes built under these strict energy standards, 101 of them in Spain, of which Villa Alcuzcuz is the only one on the Costa del Sol. However, all of these have dimensions of less than 300 square meters built. Bright and UDesign were attracted by the challenge of designing a residential villa where they could show that luxury and acclimatization of large spaces (1,155 m2) are not at odds with sustainability.

Villa Alcuzcuz was born from that challenge, the first large, luxury home that respects the environment and is built in accordance with the Passive House Regulations and Standards and, in addition, stands out for having exquisite design that is arranged around a large central glass living space (with windows 6.5m high, something unprecedented in this type of construction) with privileged views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar.

Along with the Passive House building standards, Villa Alcuzcuz uses an aerothermal ventilation system and solar panels for water supply, underfloor heating and the LED lighting system. The design is also adapted to the plot, orienting the house to the south to take advantage of southern Spain’s mild climate. Thus, the terraces are designed as large awnings that protect the house, giving shade inside and allowing heat to enter during the winter.

The designers were very clear that a house like this is to be enjoyed, so they incorporated an extraordinary entertainment and wellness space with a cinema room, sports bar, pool table, VIP seating, DJ booth, state-of-the-art golf simulator, fully equipped gym, wellness area with hairdressing salon, treatment rooms and relaxation areas. 

Villa Alcuzcuz thus masterfully combines sustainable characteristics with sheer, unadulterated luxury, which has allowed it to win the recognition from the International Property Awards, the most prestigious in the real estate sector. “We are very excited for this recognition, since it is a triumph for the entire architecture and design sector in southern Spain,” said Jason Harris, for whom “design is a concept, not a set of drawings. The true beauty of a design lies in how it works and feels, and how it looks. The design is holistic, and I use the word in its strict sense: it implies feelings of well-being, as well as a pure aesthetic. If the design does not work in a functional way, it is not a good design.” An idea shared with his partner, Michael Rodziewicz. “A large house should improve quality of life, probably more than any other individual factor.


Bright is a real estate developer with a radically different approach, in which design always comes first. The company was founded by Michael Rodziewicz and Jason Harris, creative director of UDesign, an architecture and interior design firm based in Marbella since 2008. The combination of design studio and developer in the same team produces exceptional results. Not surprisingly, Bright’s motto is “to improve quality of life through design.”


Kinvara Vaughan



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