Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) students built a housing unit in just five weeks. And right on campus.
The house was constructed by team VIRTU/e for the Solar Decathlon Europe. This is a competition in which universities throughout Europe build specific houses. They combine architecture and sustainability.
The team wants to build the house of the future. It must have smart systems, be easy to set up and adjust and create a sense of community. That’s why the living concept is called Ripple. “We don’t just want to build a house; we want to bring about behavioural change”, Willem Arts, of team VIRTU/e, says.
Ripple uses smart systems to be environmentally friendly. These include how they use solar energy. “When the weather forecast is sunny, the system can recommend running the washing machine at a certain time.”
But what really sets Ripple apart is its sense of community. There are two flats in the house. A starter apartment and a student flat.
Both are self-contained but share a common central area. The team hopes to stimulate the feeling of togetherness. It also means several people can use the appliances, like the dishwasher. This is both social and sustainable.
The house is easy to adapt. VIRTU/e calls it ‘future-proof’ because of the use of wood and prefabricated construction. “It’s a flat now,” says Willem.
“But it could become something else in 50 years. Then, these rooms are easy to adapt. With a concrete building, you often have to demolish the entire thing.”
The whole building is slotted together. So, its height and width can be adjusted too.
In June 2022, team VIRTU/e will travel to Wuppertal in Germany. There the Solar Decathlon Europe winner will be chosen.
Translated by: Bob