2010001, Free energy

Free energy. A phrase that's mainly associated with pseudoscience, with inventors that claim that they can make machines that generate more energy then the amount that was put in. It's something impossible according to the laws of physics.

Yet, there's something remarkable about the ideas of these (non working) contraptions. They're open systems. They claim to harvest a yet unknown physical force, the so called "zero-point energy". It appears to be something from the realm of quantummechanics.

The funny thing is, that windmills and sun collectors are also open systems, yet these are scientifically accepted. Wouldn't it be nice to live in a house that hardly consumes any energy at all? In other words, a house that harvests it's own energy? That ain't pseudoscience, it can already be done with common technologies today.

This is a so called "zero energy house" or "passive house". The concept behind this, is that the house is extremely well insulated, and that it harvests energy from natural resources. The heating simply comes from the excess heat that's generated by all the domestic appliances that we use. I find it a very charming idea, and would like to make it commonplace in main-stream housing projects.

I've chosen to implement this in the project in a collective way. All dwellings have solar panels on their roofs, an are connected to a city heating source. They also share a heatpump system. The energy demands of an individual dwelling are distributed over the whole block. Another aspect in this project is the use of space. The blocks are built on top of a shared carpark, that also acts as an underground infrastructure. Thus, motorized traffic is kept mainly underground. This allows to use the street level for pedestrians and recrational use.

The design of this development is compact, this very visible with the maisonette appartments. The project features several housing types, from senior homes, to single family homes and maisonette appartments. All dwellings have their own dedicated storage space and parking area in the basement.

The dwellings are built with a concrete structure, the elevations consist of masonry with/or facades. The stairwells are built of masonry, and so are the elevator shafts.

A summary of the program:

    - An underground carpark, with individual storage rooms and parking spots.
    - Underground streets, especially for motorized traffic.
    - Two rooms for technical installations, wich also house the electric transformers.
    - Two playgrounds, with lot's of greenery.
    - 3 array's with pv-sun collectors, also placed on the roofs.
    - 12 senior homes, 18 single family homes, and 44 maisonette appartements.
    - 8 stairwells, of wich 3 with an elevator.

Overview 1

Overview 2

Concept image. 1

Concept image. 2, traffic flow managment

Street 1

Street 2

Street 3


Rear side single family housing

Rear side maisonette appartments

Interiour 1

Interiour basement

Overview concrete structure 1

Overview concrete structure 2

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