Bouw●Novum is one of the nominees for the Active House Awards, to be presented at the Active House Symposium 2022. Bouw●Novum produces affordable social housing combining energy efficiency, circularity and sustainability in the life cycle of their housing construction process.
Maintaining the health and home comforts of the residents at the core of the process is key. The first Bouw●Novum houses with a standard beech size of 5.40 metres are due to be delivered this year in Nijverdal. The ‘solar chimney’, the smart solution from our knowledge partner VELUX, ensures a pleasant indoor climate in homes by providing plenty of daylight, heating and cooling during balmy summer nights.
Focus on residents
Bouw●Novum homes originated from the vision that the standard construction process needs to be made more efficient and that the end result must meet residents’ requirements. Bouw●Novum combines all the construction processes required into a single assignment, thereby providing the customer with a single point of contact for the entire construction project, be it residential, non-residential or relating to civil engineering.
These houses anticipate the challenges soon to be faced in the Dutch construction industry. Gerrit Hospers, one of the founders of Bouw●Novum: “The construction industry is working hard to produce zero-energy buildings. This requires a sizeable proportion of the building construction budget, but comes at the expense of space, comfort and other aspects of healthy living.”
Hospers: “This risk is high, especially for social housing projects, at a time when we will be needing to replace many land-based terraced houses.”
Project in Nijverdal
Bouw●Novum is putting all its ideas into practice in Nijverdal. The wooden demountable houses can be reassembled in full and can be adapted to changes in people’s lives.
The houses require a limited quantity of raw materials (e.g. frameless glass panels), disconnected structure (completely separate foundation and installation), prefab construction and use of sustainable natural energy sources.
The houses are designed based on the Active House guidelines; they comply with NZEB requirements and also offer a comfortable indoor climate, partially based on a smart solution by VELUX.
The solar chimney, consisting of a roof light using VELUX Integra skylights, also provides large quantities of daylight in the middle of the house. Hospers: “People need daylight, which plays a major role in their level of comfort. Daylight only comes into standard terraced houses through the front and back of the house.”
The solar chimney brightens the middle of the building. Hospers: “Natural light enters every room except the toilet and the box room, reducing the need for electric lighting.”
Ventilation, heating and cooling
The solar chimney not only provides daylight but also plays a vital role in the ventilation, heating and cooling of the house. By linking up to the VELUX Active smart home system, the skylights can be opened via a smartphone or according to a schedule.
When combined with night exhaust vents, the house can be easily cooled after a warm summer day, using thermal draft. This energy-efficient cooling method contributes towards meeting the NZEB requirements and the additional July excess heat (TO-juli) indicator for overheating in homes.
Marcel Vreeken, Public Affairs Manager at VELUX Netherlands: “We have made a daylight calculation for these houses. The score well exceeds the minimum requirements in every room, and even meets the upcoming European Daylight Standard.”
Big steps towards circularity and energy efficiency have also been taken in these houses, although residents’ quality of life and health remain paramount. Vreeken: “Indoor climate, comfort and energy are all balanced. The houses meet the NZEB requirements by balancing the application of overall technical solutions, without depleting the Earth’s resources.”