Eindhoven University of Technology: Sustainable alternative to social housing reaches highest point

Comfortable, affordable and extremely sustainable. Those are the three characteristics of the future-proof house that Team CASA – a student team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) – is building together with construction company Hurks and housing corporation Woonbedrijf in the Brainport Smart District in Helmond. The construction of the house, which is known for its unique climate system, has now reached its highest point. The completion is scheduled for the end of June.

The students of Team CASA and partner Hurks started building the house called CASA 1.0 in December 2020. This was preceded by four years of research. The team’s goal is to develop a sustainable alternative to social housing with technologies that are already available today.

“We should therefore be able to build the house quickly on a larger scale,” emphasizes creator and team manager Antoine Post. The house is made of steel and completely reusable wood. No concrete is used at all. A unique feature is the fact that the heat pump is mainly switched on in the summer and not in the winter, which means that much less electricity is needed to heat the house. How is this possible? The secret lies beneath the house: it involves a 104 cubic meter water basin. The heat from the heat pump is used to heat the basin. The basin can then be used to warm the house during the cold winter months.

With this system there is no excess energy in the summer and no shortage in the winter, thus avoiding a peak load on the electricity grid. The energy used by the heat pump comes from the energy roof that generates both electricity and heat via a solar panel and solar boiler. CASA 1.0 is therefore a zero-on-the-meter house that goes one step further.

This innovative structure is being built in Brainport Smart District in Helmond Brandevoort. The district is known for its experiments with new and innovative forms of building, energy and transport.

Team manager Antoine Post of Team Casa
Team manager Antoine Post of Team Casa
CASA 1.0 consists of two floors with a total of three apartments that will be rented out after completion. Post and his girlfriend are two of the future residents. Post: “We are going to live on the first floor and test out the house. That is fun and exciting. After the test, a second apartment will be rented out. The third apartment will be used for promotional purposes for now.”

The CASA 1.0 project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the framework of OPZuid, the Metropolitan Region of Eindhoven and a contribution from the North Brabant Economy and Innovation Grant Scheme. Further development is co-financed by a Top Sector Energy Grant (Demonstration Energy Innovation) from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change.

On April 1, several members of the press received a tour and saw the steel outline of the house, within the applicable corona rules. On April 7 an online meeting will be held in which people involved from the TU/e Innovation Space, Hurks, Woonbedrijf and alderwoman Cathalijne Dortmans will talk about the project. At the end of June the house will be ready. “At that point we will organize a big event where press and other guests are welcome, in line with the corona rules that will be in place at that time,” Post finishes.

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