A life without energy costs and without fossil fuels for a better future. And yet to achieve this, you don’t have to live in a mud hut - quite the contrary in fact! The Ekofin Active House in Schiedam demonstrates that sustainability can also be modern and comfortable. The building was built on a conversion plot of land in Schiedam on which a hospital complex had previously stood. Once the hospital had been demolished, residential land was created on the vacant plot. To create an attractive townscape, the houses combined traditional construction with the modernism of the 1920s, creating a stylish mixture of Art Deco and brick architecture. The minimalist and modern steel-effect windows represent a very special feature. Triple glazing and aluminium also ensure good energy values.
Project “Ekoflin Active House” family home
Place Schiedam, Netherlands
Year of construction 2016
Client von Meding family
Architecture KAW Architecten Rotterdam
Execution Bouw-en van Wijck B.V.
Use of BBS Walls and ceilings are constructed from 60 m³ of residential visible quality binderholz CLT BBS elements
The “Active House” label means that the entirety of a house supplies at least as much fossil-free energy as it consumes. The energy consumption of the house has been kept as low as possible, which explains why insulation value standards and the quality of the execution were all the more significant. After one year of use, the Active House in Schiedam produced a surplus of 1000 kW. In a building like this, it is a question of using clean energy and also saving energy costs, as well as focussing on living comfort: ample sunlight, fresh air and intelligent spatial zoning are essential.
The avoidance of as many harmful building materials as possible is a further key factor for the construction of a ‘healthy’ home, one of the reasons why the clients opted for CLT BBS.
The positioning of the windows and the open-plan floor plan of the ground floor give the house the feel of an open loft space. The rooms were consciously kept small to enable the staircase, hall and overflow area to have a small surplus, a design feature that makes the entire living space feel much more spacious.
A floating dry construction was used for the floor construction instead of a cement floor, making the complete building eco-effective. This means that, should the house be demolished, each individual piece can be reused. The visible quality CLT BBS elements used for the walls and ceilings are bolted together and entirely conform to this concept.
One of the many benefits of timber construction is that the installation concept does not have to be horizontally aligned, despite the CO2-controlled ventilation system, hence no large cross-sections had to be built horizontally. No space needed to be wasted on plant rooms and separate accesses, as everything could be integrated in the spaces in-between the rooms. The entire building services technology was accommodated in a central area of the bathrooms close to the built-in wardrobes, resulting in much more usable living space being created than is the case with conventional building.
The interior and exterior areas were stylistically in tune with each other, with ‘maasgrind’, a special type of gravel, and the white stained wood creating a harmonious transition from outside indoors. A wooden terrace has been added to the garden on the east side, with the ideal positioning of the garden meaning that the sun can be enjoyed up to lunchtime.
Readiness for solid timber construction in the Netherlands still needs to be expanded, although logistics organisation here is significantly better than in the German-speaking region. binderholz elements are therefore ideally suited for use in Dutch building logistics as a replacement for finished concrete parts, despite work primarily being in the low-price segment in this country.
Photos: © binderholz
Plans: © KAW Architecten Rotterdam