TU Delft students turn Dutch terraced house into energy-neutral home

03 February 2014 by Webredactie M&C

TU Delft student team's participation in the 2014 Solar Decathlon with its Prêt-à-Loger concept this summer is confirmed. During this ‘Olympic Games for sustainable construction’, the team will built a house whick shows how 1.4 million terraced houses in the Netherlands are able to provide their own energy. They are using a new skin that includes solar panels and smart technology to make the house energy-neutral. The official kick-off of Prêt-à-Loger will take place at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment on Thursday 6 February.

New skin

In Versailles, the Delft team will reconstruct the original model home located in Honselersdijk (Westland) with all their modifications. Besides the technical improvements, the primary concern is that the residents are able to retain their typical Dutch house they are so attached to, while immediately getting a more spacious and improved living environment. Affordable, social and completely sustainable. The project is called Prêt-à-Loger – ready to be lived in – because the residents are able to remain living there while renovations are carried out.

Energy leap

Making existing housing sustainable is the task of the future. The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations is participating in the concept through the Energy Leap Innovation Programme and wants to implement it in various neighbourhoods in the Netherlands. The principle of the Energy Leap concept is that total net expenses of residents following modifications must not be higher than before, with the difference being that energy costs will be reduced to zero when the mortgage or rent is higher. Financial feasibility of Prêt-à-Loger is therefore an important area of concern.


The project is supported by various parties involved in construction. The house will be built by the TBI-nterprises ERA Contour, Hazenberg Bouw en Koopmans Bouwgroep. Putman Installaties BV en Solar Compleet BV is supplying the climate control systems, Van Dorp Installaties the PCMs and domotics, Sto Isoned the post-insulation panels and DMEGC the solar cells integrated in glass and PV Syst.
Additional support is coming from TU Delft, Deerns, DPA Cauberg-Huygen, The Green Village, EcoBouw, Solarevent, Komplot and Printer Pro. However, the team is always open to new partners.

Solar Decathlon

The Solar Decathlon is a competition between 20 universities from around the world and will take place at Versailles, adjacent to the Sun King's palatial gardens, between 28 June and 14 July. Twenty houses have to function independently for two weeks, using only solar energy. The entries are assessed on ten criteria, hence the name Decathlon. With over 300,000 visitors, this is an opportunity for companies, students and universities to showcase their know-how and products on the world stage. The other entries are new-build villas or plans that consist of new-build additions to existing premises.

More information

If you would like more information, please contact professor Andy van den Dobbelsteen, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, tel. +31 (0)15 2783563 or +31 (0)6 39251421.
Wendy Batist, TU Delft media relations officer, tel. +31 (0)15 2788499 or +31 (0)6 43468356
or visit www.pretaloger.nl.

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