Student team VIRTUe builds a sustainable house in five weeks

The almost sixty students on the construction site next to the Auditorium on the campus have their work cut out for them. They are building a fully sustainable house made of wood in the space of five weeks. This house is team VIRTUe’s entry in an international competition for sustainable living, which will be held in the German city of Wuppertal. The competition won’t take place until next year, but the students decided to go ahead and practice with the construction of their house.

photo Floortje van Gameren

“It’s a serious sacrifice for all those who help with the construction,” third-year Built Environment student at TU/e and communication manager for VIRTUe Marianna Angelini says. “Instead of taking a vacation after this difficult corona year, we’re now working five to six days a week from seven in the morning till five in the afternoon to have the house finished by the end of July.”

The students have a few weeks off between August and the start of the Intro, after which they will add the final details. “The grand opening is set to take place in October, followed by tours of the house.” During the competition in Wuppertal next year, the students will have just two weeks instead of five to set up their house. “This is a good way for everyone to practice,” Angelini says.

Broader vision

However, taking part in the competition is not a goal in itself. “The building and construction sector accounts for high emission levels and is nowhere near as sustainable as it should be. We hope that this house, in the center of the campus, gives passers-by an incentive to invest in sustainability,” says Willem Arts, Sustainable Innovation student at TU/e and responsible for the planning of the construction project. “We use wood for the construction instead of concrete because it’s a much more sustainable material. Wood stores CO₂, whereas construction with steel and concrete produces high levels of CO₂ emissions.” The team also uses recycled material, such as wood from the Pavilion building, which has by now been almost completely demolished.


Cursor checked out the construction site

Team VIRTUe builds a complete and sustainable house in five weeks

Cursor checked out the construction site

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