Porotherm Clay Blocks Support the e4 Passive Housing Concept

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Times are changing and with them values. However, some values persist over time, for example, the belief that healthy living in a healthy environment is a prerequisite for a high quality of life. The natural e4 building method embraces this attitude because it meets the highest ecological and engineering standards. Small and efficient is the key.

e4 is designed to meet the European Code for Sustainable Homes Code Level 4, and to accommodate later additions to levels 5 and 6.

Health, well-being, and quality of life are at the forefront of the e4 house, developed by Wienerberger in conjunction with ARUP, a global firm of consulting engineers — and the e4 house meets all the growing demands of using efficient living spaces.

The core values surrounding the e4 concept are emotion, energy, environment and economics. The focus is on the end user and reflects the growing demand on builders and developers to deliver smaller homes that will make a positive contribution to the increasing awareness of climate change. Sustainability and energy efficiency are the two most important challenges for new residential construction today.

Based on the e4 Brickhouse 2020, Austria, this concept meets 100% of energy requirements with renewable sources. Over a 12 month period, this single-family home produces more energy than it uses. It has a positive CO2 and primary energy balance, and it is affordable. The design and construction of the three bedroom detached house focuses on the 'fabric first' approach with a clay building envelope delivering a house that has reduced energy needs, meaning lower running costs for the homeowner.

Wienerberger clay Porotherm blocks, bricks and clay roof tiles are mineral natural products with eco-friendly properties and were awarded the 'natureplus' European Seal of Quality.


  • Plan a compact building structure to reduce energy needs
  • Use clay blocks to retain heat gained from the sun and other sources
  • Orientate towards the sun — use free solar energy
  • Build air-tight but breathable to ensure heat retention
  • Avoid structures that might lose heat

Not only does this seal award high functionality, it also acknowledges good health and environmental credentials. The block's open cell structure absorbs excess moisture and can give it off again as required. One can rely on absolute environmental compatibility without any emission of harmful substances and enjoy a balanced indoor climate in all seasons.