Affordable housing and no energy costs – Groevenbeek Noord

No utility bill at the end of the year? In Groevenbeek Noord it’s possible! - a unique zero-energy quarter in Ermelo, the Netherlands. The homes are equipped with a series of energy efficient solutions, such as a thick building envelop, low energy devices and a roof consisting of solar panels.

The idea behind the concept is that the homes generate more power than the residents use. Each home is equipped with a high insulation. From walls to roof, quality products ensure a minimal amount of energy leakage. It takes little energy to heat or cool the homes, partly due to a smart heat recovery system. By combining this concept with an alternative power source, such as solar power, it is possible to live ‘”off-the-grid’”; A set of integrated PV panels on the roof generate the energy needed for basic living, making these homes self-sufficient.

Involved residents

But there is more needed for the concept to be successful. An important factor in energy usage is off course the energy user. The contractor, Van Wijnen, understood this. They made it a priority to involve and to inform the residents about their homes. Each house is equipped with a monitor. It gives families insight into their energy usage and the performance of the house. This means they are aware of their own behaviour and can make better decisions when it comes to consumption. This monitoring also makes it possible for building-related devices to come into play. Domotica, such as a CO2 meter communicating with the ventilation unit, make it possible to improve the indoor climate. No action of the resident is required.

Tailor made daylight

FAKRO contributed to the concept of Groevenbeek Noord in an early stage of the project. It was clear that a generic daylight solution for the roof would not suffice. The roof consists of tiles on one side and integrated PV panels on the other. At that time no company was providing a standard daylight solution for this type of integrated PV roofing. FAKRO took it upon itself to create such a solution. A special flashing was developed. Not only does it guarantee a wind- and waterproof connection, it also ensures an aesthetic integration. The flashing made it possible for several FAKRO’s FTT U6 roof windows to be integrated. The highly energy efficient nature of this roof window fitted perfectly within the concept and, because of the flashing, now also perfect within the roof!

Growing concept

Van Wijnen, the contractor, didn’t stop after completion of the homes. A concept can always grow. That’s why together with dedicated partners they keep improving their zero-energy homes. One of the latest additions is a special battery. The battery stores unused energy from the solar panels. FAKRO also worked on creating an even better daylight solution. By adding Solar screens to the roof windows it is possible to protect the interior against overheating and thus less cooling is needed. A big benefit of this awning blind is that it’s powered by solar batteries. It doesn't extract energy from the grid. Further development will focus on making the zero-energy homes even smarter. More and better domotica will play a big part, among these FAKRO’s Z-Wave roof windows.