In mid-November at the latest, Hurks will sink foundations and a seasonal storage tank in a field in Helmond, later to become the Brainport Smart District. These are preparations for CASA 1.0. Time is too short to make the planned date of October 1st, due to the late coordination of the suppliers involved - even so, Antoine Post, masterstudent and manager of Team CASA, still expects the concrete-free hometo be delivered in January.
“We students are good at the creative process and at coming up with unusual solutions for making a comfortable home that is ready for the energy transition. Contractor Hurks can build the home within budget in such a way that it will stand the test of time,” says Post. “The construction process is quick because we are using prefab pieces that only need to be finished on site.”
At the moment the construction site is an empty field to the north-west of Brandevoort. It should be said, however, that the allotted parcel of land has already seen the first shovel: in June Team CASA arranged for a soil study to be carried out. Right up to the last moment, the students will be discussing ideas with the contractor.
“One of the last major changes to be made is that the seasonal storage tank, which holds water heated to 70 or 80 degrees Celsius, will be buried somewhere away from the foundations. Tests in the lab have shown that it is not a good idea to combine these two, as we first planned.”
Under the terms of the contract signed by Team CASA on July 22nd Hurks will hire the suppliers and undertake the construction work. Another clause states that Team CASA will aim to find the first occupier. This has already been achieved: it will be the instigator and project manager Antoine Post himself, together with his girlfriend. Great, and exciting, he says. “I've been involved in this project since back in 2016. Four years ago - I was in the second year of my studies in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering - it irritated me that while there were folders for solar panels all over the place, there were none for a sustainable student house. So within the Honors Academy I gathered a team around me and we set about changing this situation. Since 2017 we have been making good headway, and the house is now almost literally within reach.” It seems almost certain that it will be from this address, Markestrijp 50, that Post will complete his dual master's at TU/e.
CASA 1.0 has living accommodation on two floors. On the ground floor Post will soon be renting 60 square meters. Above him, two students can each move into a studio measuring 30 square meters. The sizes are ideal for starter homes, but the ground floor would also suit a senior well as it is wheelchair-friendly and lifetime-proof - able to accommodate our changing needs as we age.
The living lab that Brainport Smart District is intended to become has got off to a slow start. The first home built by Team CASA, whose own foundations will be laid later than planned, does not yet have any immediate neighbors. However, Post has met a group of people who, in a private capacity, will be building on another plot, but he is not familiar with their schedule. It is his team's ambition to build multiple CASAs after this experimental home, “but we still need to look into that with the municipality and Woonbedrijf."