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French Television Appearances

We are very happy to announce that we have appear on 3 national channels in France as the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 gets under way. View them all below.

http://www.francetvinfo.fr/replay-jt/france-2/20-heures/jt-de-20h-du-samedi-28-juin-2014_628887.html

We start at 15:15

http://www.francetvinfo.fr/replay-jt/france-3/12-13/jt-12-13-samedi-28-juin-2014_628553.html

We start at 14:50

Dag van de Bouw

The Dag van de Bouw is dedicated to construction. Every year, construction sites and construction related businesses open their doors to the public, who can enjoy on sites visits, tours and informative presentations. Our partner, Groothuis Wonen – part of the TBI Holdings – received almost 400 visitors last Saturday in just a few hours in their building facilities in Harbrinkhoek. The Pret-a-Loger prototype, located in the premises of Groothuis Wonen was the crown jewel of this enterprise, and our Team didn’t miss the opportunity to show people around.

Presentations were held every hour explaining our project and our views on sustainability and the pubic was toured in our newly built prototype, while the team was demonstrating some of its more exciting functions! Needless to say, everyone was extra proud that day and at the same time very thankful to all those people who admired our work and effort and gave us invaluable constructive feedback on it. Hearing these positive responses from people living in exactly the type of houses we are renovating is inspiring and exactly what Pret-a-Loger is all about: people and the emotional bond they share with their home.

Did you miss the chance to see our prototype shine? No worries, we made a video-impression of the day!

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Beautiful weather to present a beautiful concept.

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Questions are there to be answered.

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With around 400 visitors in only 6 hours, it was a great succes!

Energy Break

The Prêt-à-Loger team had another chance to present its cause on Friday, 23 May 2014 together with the Energy Club of TU Delft. The event itself which took place at the Aula of the TU Delft is called Energy Break, a lecture series that aims to bring together professors and students from all faculties to have lunch together once a month and update each other about the latest energy-related research at TU Delft.

The presentation was done by our Team Captain, David Jacome and our Faculty Advisor, Andy van den Dobbelsteen. The welcoming remarks were made by David, explaining the vision of Prêt-à-Loger and giving a short overview about our progress. Andy continue the presentation with a detailed explanation regarding how the ‘skin’ works to preserve energy and regulate the heat inside the house during the four seasons. Lastly, David continue the presentation with more elaborated details regarding the team, the construction phases and our preparation ahead of the Solar Decathlon 2014 competition this summer at Versailles, France.

The crowd was pretty enthusiastic about our project. There were some interesting questions regarding the project itself and how the team are going to bring it forward in the future. There were several team members also present in the event such as Rianne den Ouden, Andre Madian, Vasilis Tzimitras and Minyoung Kwon, ready to give more explanation about the project if needed.

Special thanks to the Energy Club team that invited us to present our cause for a more sustainable future!

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David Jacome explains the meaning of sustainability

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The crowd is listening carefully.

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Faculty Advisor Andy van den Dobbelsteen explains the concept

Students visit Home with a Skin

27 Students from Saxion Hogeschool, Enschede came to Groothuis to get a hands on tour of the construction industry. Part of their tour involved a tour through our prototype house. Tim Jonathan, Team Construction Manager, first explained the concept and building process in his presentation and then guided students around the completed build. The students were very eager to ask questions and showed their interest in the prototype very clearly. Thanks for the visit, and we hope to see you in Versailles as well!

Second Furniture Tour

Today marked the second and (unfortunately) last furniture tour.

Our Interior team was on the road for the last time, visiting Dutch families and second hand shops all around the country. A lot of surprises , beautiful landscapes and rain. In conclusion a typical day in the Netherlands, to settle the gathering of all the objects that will populate our house. We gathered second hand pieces, knick-knacks and a lot of furniture with memories attached of families that used these pieces for years. A few details are yet to come, but imagining the house in construction with our great collection of furniture, we already feel home!

Many thanks to all our supporters that donated their furniture for a very good cause, your help is much appreciated!

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Young Planners’ Workshop 2014

Between 3-5 May the urban designers of Prêt-à-Loger Todor Kesarovski and Daniel Radai attended the 3rd Young Planners’ Workshop 2014 organised by the European Council of Spatial Planners in Brussels. This was a three-day-long event where participants were invited to share the challenges of spatial planning and energy in their respective countries. Our planners focused on the correlation between housing, transportation and energy and brought a fresh light to the event by putting the emphasis on the suburban/rural context addressing the Region of Westland, in contrast to the other groups’ general attention on metropolitan centers. Their main argument was not to force changes on lifestyles but to introduce technological solutions into the planning system in order to achieve sustainability and improve life quality within the existing behavior patterns. What is more, the emphasis was put on the importance of the optimization of the existing transportation networks in densifying suburban areas since this is also a key element in the battle for sustainability of the built environment.

On the first day the 35 participants including Daniel and Todor presented and discussed their papers prepared for the occasion. The session ended with a discussion in 3 groups on various topics, such as social perspectives, financing, eco-town, housing or coherent planning policy. The program of the second day consisted of an excursion around the harbor of Brussels in the Canal Area, which is a key part of one of the main development zones of the Belgian capital currently. On the last day the workshop joined the 10th European Urban and Regional Planning Awards 2013-2014 organised by the Council and hosted by the Committee of the Regions. The young planners reached conclusions about their research on different regions in Europe and shared them with the award winner professionals in a round table discussion raising further questions of energy efficiency and spatial development.

One of the main results of the workshop presented by Daniel in the end was the introduction of a triangle between finance, technology and willingness and the crucial necessity of addressing all in the same time and plans. This statement was supported by the different gaps found in the observed countries. Prêt-à-Loger offers a new technology for the Dutch renovation market where financial support is available and both public and private actors are rather interested in the advantages of new developments.

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Daniel and Todor representing Prêt-à-Loger and emphasizing the suburban and rural context in their story.

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Daniel (Hungarian) and Todor (Bulgarian) are also representative of the international spirit of the Solar Decathlon, Prêt-à-Loger and this Workshop!

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Joining the 10th European Urban and Regional Planning Awards 2013-2014

Construction Week 3

We are starting to get something resembling a house. This week we have finished off the inner- and outer walls of the first floor, roof, and have started the glass house frame. Climate installations are also being placed with tubing as the main focus this week.

First floor

This week all the exterior walls of the first floor were fitted into slots cut out of the floor panels, which rest on top of the ground floor walls. The roof panels are supported by a huge wooden roof beam that spans over the entire width of the house, and by each of the four facade panels. Fitting them in place turned out to be a challenge, since some of them did not fit as well as we would have hoped. After some knocks from the sledge-hammer they fitted perfectly though! We managed to get the roof panels placed at the end of our 3rd construction week so our house now fulfills it’s primary function: shelter.

Insulated North Facade

Sto placed their insulation on the North facade this week as well. This extra insulation layer makes sure that the house does not lose that much heat anymore during winter times. On the south side this extra insulation layer is not needed since the glasshouse will fulfill that function there. The insulation panels could not become wet during construction, which posed a challenge with the Dutch weather conditions. We wrapped up the entire facade in orange plastic to prevent this, proud to be Dutch!

Glasshouse

This week also meant the start of constructing our glass house in the back garden. Steel columns were placed in slots of the garden, assembled as one big 3D puzzle. A lot of elements had to be bolted together, steel frames with steel columns, steel beams with steel columns, but also aluminium parts bolted onto the steel frame directly. These aluminum parts will be holding the moving glass windows in place, where as the steel frame will provide the load bearing capacity for the whole glass house.

Installations

A huge challenge for the climate installations and tubing is the demount ability of our house, which is something not regularly dealt with. Our house consists of 10 floor panels, 8 wall panels and a roof. This means that every panel has tubing fitted to it, which can be plugged in on site in Versailles which drastically reduces building time. All of this is prepared here in the Netherlands right now. This week we started with the tubing for the heating, toilet, sink and kitchen. A special element placed on the ground floor is the heat recovery unit of the shower. A 2 meter long element, fixed to the wall on the ground floor, takes the waste water from the shower above to preheat the cold water going into the shower head. One of the ventilation shafts that runs through the first floor of the house has also been placed. This shaft runs from the shower, through the media room on the first floor to the chimney at the other end of the house, to a heat recovery unit that is placed there. Heating tubes were also placed underneath the plot, were holes were drilled in the double wooden foundation beams. ⌂

10153953_302870676535813_1259511434468423687_nThe walls are up and covered with the post-insulation of Sto
10177222_302870649869149_8119211494724797055_nOne of the roof panels in mid-air!
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⌂ Working on the roof after the chimney parts have been put in place

 

Construction Week 2

Another week complete and we are moving closer to our goal and Versailles. Last week we laid the foundations – literally. Now we can focus on constructing the original house. This week we look at the floor and walls.

Although our design is based on a traditional Dutch row house, it was never going to be possible to transport a real one to France. Therefore we had to build our own ‘original house’. There have been a few changes in order to comply to the competition rules. For example: the house in Versailles will be slightly shorter in order not to exceed the so-called Solar Envelope, which is a rule installed by the competition to make sure houses do not shade each other during the competition. It will also be an entirely wooden prefab structure since the short construction time frame of Versailles does not allow us to build in the traditional manner, which is masonry. Our engineers have worked hard so that the house in Versailles will be as close as possible to the original in Honselersdijk.

Floor
The floor of the house comprises of large panels that sit across the wooden foundation beams. These panels are made out of smaller wood lengths and ply board in order to keep them as light as possible. They also feature hoisting points and pre sawn junctions for the walls.

Walls
The walls are constructed in a similar fashion but in order to make our wooden house look like the brick original, they have brick slips stuck on to them. Brick slips are brick tiles that are connected by mortar like real bricks but they do not carry any of the building load and are merely there for their appearance. Furthermore they are insulated and constructed in such a way that they are easily hoisted in place during construction.

10155554_299167093572838_1309676792713640194_nPutting down the very first floor panels
 
10309735_300586453430902_871688129385221768_nEnjoying a well earned break in front of the newly placed facade
 
10246806_300586423430905_7554457678435138231_nSecuring the first walls in place

Behind the scenes!

Our Project Architect Dennis IJsselstijn was interviewed this Tuesday for the TV program Ons Huis Verdient Het. They aim to rally Dutch homeowners to insist for energy neutral development, and so change the policies of the dutch banking and building industry. They hosted the interview in front of the house where it all started in Honselersdijk. This house has been in the family for almost 40 years, and served as the basis for our project since it as a perfect example of a Dutch row house from the 60’s. The TV show is aired weekly and already had its first 3 episodes on Dutch television on 12, 19 and 26th of April at 16:00 on RTL4. Keep watching every Friday and you will definitely see Dennis and shots of our house being build in Harbrinkhoek at the factory of Groothuis. You can see the behind the scenes of the interview here, take a look!


 

 

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