Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Energy plus house in Geel, Belgium by Skilpod
October 11th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: skilpod
About the Skilpod modules:
After building a lot of prototype buildings (Steel framing, wood skellet, eps building, steel-wood combo, …) they came into contact with CLT : Cross Laminated Timber.
CLT is not cheap, but for our application it was a great construction method: extremely strong, good thermal properties, fast production, almost no cold bridges, easy to transport, stable construction (like lifting with cranes) and also it comes already in very nice interior finishing’s (so no need for plaster which easily cracks).
We until now we have produced about 40 Skilpod’s in CLT in our production facilities in Geel where we assemble these modules. We got a lot of national media attention and also some bigger partners/projects have approached us to work with Skilpod. Among of them is a social housing cooperation. For them we designed this new model: #48 Energy PLUS
This new Skilpod is 48m² (516 feet). The goal is to rent it out for singles, young starters and older people as the normal houses that they have are too big, also singles occupy the homes suited for larger families who are on long waiting lists.
It is a construction made completely from cross laminated timber and has amazing energy levels from zero energy to a negative energy level(-12) so it produces more than it consumes (solar panels, heat pumps, ventilation system with heat recuperation, automatic sunscreens, fully automized by home domotics, …) . Prices start at 59.900€ (ex vat).
Newt to these projects we are also doing research together with the Flemish government to put these modules in the garden of the children so they can take care of the elderly parents so they don’t need to go to a retirement home.
Some extra info: The façade is an own development. We had a lot of customers who want clean white facades in one piece (so no divisions). Normally you can us plaster, but it can crack during transport. So we looked at the boating industry and studied the materials they use. There we saw that a lot of polyester is used, so we developed a façade made out of polyester composite together with wood. Another big advantage next to strength is that it is very fast to install, cutting production times and prices.
Skilpod is a young company that started 2,5 years ago with the production of 3D prefab minihouses and extentions.The idea grew when 2 friends (Jan Vrijs – Business Lawyer and Filip Timmermans – Industrial Engineer) where driving home from hospital after visiting a friend. He had to go back home to live with his parents for medical reasons. This was not so easy for this 29 year old guy certainly due to privacy issues. Filip was already studying alternative housing methods for a couple of years and was designing a new prefab construction method for his own house. Jan saw that the application would be ideal for their friend.
The solution would be an extension for the house that could be placed in less than a day, but with the quality or even better than a house. So no containers or other shed like structures. The idea was born. The 2 guys went looking for an investor and found one fairly easy: Raymond Crestkens, Owner of AKP and Allim, a big industrial building company in steel and concrete buildings, with a huge expertize in construction. He was immediately captured by the idea to build movable houses without losing the quality and feeling of a well-constructed regular house. Even preforming better. The joined forces and SKILPOD was born!