Five different colours for five homes designed with sustainability in mind. The new building project Ekowood Houses successfully blends individualism with preservation of local architectural heritage.
Five colours in keeping with the local architectural style
The houses are energy-efficient, soundproof and cool in the summer yet warm in the winter. The five Ekowood Houses are located in Leeuwarden in the Friesland region of The Netherlands. They are modern terraced houses that combine all aspects of sustainability: recyclable and renewable materials, photovoltaic panels on the roofs and insulation made of wood. “It is a special project, since it is the first time that we made everything hinge on recyclable, bio-based construction,” explains Martijn van Toor, Managing Director of Ekowood Houses. The energy-efficient houses feature roughly 160 m2 of floor space, distributed over three levels, and their exterior blends into the local architectural style of the existing residential area.
Sustainability in the exterior and the interiors
The neighbourhood is made up of single-family homes and terraced houses with similar heights and gabled roofs, with details and colour schemes that reflect the individual requests of their occupants. The new building project also had to harmonise with this style, and hence the five adjacent houses are scarcely different in design, size and structure, although each is of a different colour. Two houses feature wooden façades, while the other three have brick façades. “The houses are mostly made of wood, and the insulation is also made of wood. This wood is produced sustainably - even the processing of the wood into a building material is relatively energy-efficient;” says van Toor explaining the project’s sustainability efforts, which have also found expression in the façades.
Improving the ecological balance
To achieve the brickwork look, we searched for a material that is easy to install, easy to replace when damaged and also recyclable. “The individual bricks can be reused at the end of the useful life of the buildings,” explains Martijn van Toor. “This has a positive impact on the ecological balance.” The ClickBrick Pure dry stacking system makes the construction sustainable and recycling-oriented, while also creating the appearance of a traditional clinker brick façade.
The hand-moulded bricks are based on the standard Waal format for facing bricks, 210 x 62.5 mm, while dummy joints create the appearance of traditional brickwork even though no mortar is used. The facing bricks made of Dutch river clay are delivered with the necessary stainless steel wall anchors and clips for assembly. This means that the bricks can be laid without special expertise in brickwork or adhesive bonding, and in all sorts of weather.
Facts & Figures
Project name: Ekowood houses, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands