Solar panels convert 60s terraced house into net zero model
Students from Delft University took a 1960s terraced house and turned it into a net-zero home with a new skin that connected solar panels, glass walls and smart technology with the existing structure.
With their concept Prêt-à-Loger, Home with a Skin, the TU Delft student team won first prize in the Sustainability category at the Solar Decathlon 2014 in Versailles. The terraced house sets an example for improving the sustainability of existing buildings in Europe.
The key sustainability challenge of the future is to improve existing buildings, students said, which is they opted to improve the sustainability of a terraced house dating from the 1960s. They achieved this by applying a 'second skin', including a glass structure on the side facing the sun. This new skin enables the house to run completely on solar energy. In the Netherlands alone, there are 1.4 million terraced houses that can be made sustainable in this way. The student team and the researchers involved are now working with partners in the project to explore how the concept can be applied on a large scale.
The home, a replica of the house lived in by one of the students as a child, has been rebuilt in Delft with all the high-tech modifications. The project is called Prêt-à-Loger – ready to be lived in – because the residents remain living in the house while renovations are underway.
Take a video tour of the home
Delft researchers will use the house as a test site for improving the indoor environment in homes and for the further development of consumer products, systems and fittings within buildings and solar cells.
Watch the solar panels be installed on the home
The house is the first building in The Green Village, a Delft initiative to develop a living laboratory for sustainable innovations on the university campus.
Read more about solar power.