After two years of planning, drawing and thinking, there is a lot of building being done on Linq, the desert house on the TU/e grounds.
It is the home of Team VIRTUe. In November, the student team participates in The Solar Decathlon Middle East in Dubai. The most sustainable house, suitable for the desert-living, wins.
“We are definitely going to win”, project leader, Ellen van den Bersselaar, says excitedly. “We not only have a durable house, but also a social house. It is part of an apartment complex and it is the intention that it contributes to the cohesion of the neighbourhood.” Communications Manager, Tamar Henquet adds: “This is because, in Dubai, there are quite a bit of segregated neighbourhoods.”
The house is provided with insulation that does not let heat or cold through. In the desert, temperature differences are enormous. Special systems, like cooling systems in the wall, keep the temperature in the house at the desired level.
There will be solar panels on the sloping roof of the house, because then they can be focused on the sun. The wall is also slanted on one side so that the sun does not shine fully on it.
All parts of the house have been made in a particular size. Linq is built on the TU/e grounds, but in the end, it must go to Dubai. Everything fits in sea containers. Especially the module with all the electrical systems; the heart of the house. The rectangular room fits as a whole in a container, save two centimetres. It will be hoisted out in the Middle East, so that, within two weeks, the rest of the house can be built around it.
Team VIRTUe consists of dozens of students with different backgrounds. They are not just technicians. “That is our strength”, Ellen thinks. This will be put to the test in November at the Solar Decathlon Middle East.