Nearly zero energy new builds for flagship projects 'Ter Dauten' and 'In de Bres'

Want to roll out an affordable housing project involving timber-frame construction and an E-level of 30 or less? Two flagship eco-projects in Belgium, 'Ter Dauten' (20 homes in Diepenbeek) and 'In de Bres' (16 new-build units in Genk), show that this can be done. Aside from their obvious environmental benefits, nearly zero energy homes, as they are known, also reduce residents' energy bills. The reason for the low E-level can be found in the production process. Timber-frame construction enables optimal insulation without very thick walls, because each panel is made as watertight and airtight as possible during prefabrication in the production plant.

A new-build project that does not meet EPB standards can soon get expensive. Not to worry, though, because MBS's timber-frame construction method makes it easy to meet nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standards for homes. This technique is a top performer in terms of insulation, airtightness, acoustics and fire resistance, meaning that residents can enjoy lower levels of energy consumption without compromising on comfort or safety. 

"Nearly zero energy homes retain their value"

Every nearly zero energy new build forming part of the 'Ter Dauten' and 'In de Bres' projects is an ecological role model – a result of the environmentally friendly combination of timber-frame construction and solar panels. Timber-frame construction offers some room for manoeuvre in relation to current energy standards. This means you can avoid problems in the future even if the rules are tightened up. As a result, these homes will retain their value. The same cannot be said of houses built using traditional building techniques: homes put up 20 years ago no longer pass muster because the construction techniques used at that time compare poorly with present-day new builds in terms of Energy Performance of Buildings (EPB) criteria.

From FSC® wood to lightning-fast installation

Sustainability is about more than just a low E-level. Timber-frame construction allows the most natural materials to be used, both for the core of the timber-frame building panels and for the exterior finishing. Moreover, MBS has deliberately opted to work only with FSC®-certified wood, guaranteeing that at least one new tree is planted for every tree used.

During production, we make efficient use of this sustainable timber. Our team prepares all parts under industrial conditions in the controlled production plant, thereby ensuring quick and easy installation on site. The result is that a whole home can be put up in just a few days.

Nearly zero energy homes with a special touch

A quick and easy construction process means that residents can get to enjoy their new homes sooner. But of course it isn't enough for homes to be energy-efficient and built quickly – they also need to look good.

Modern developments such as 'Ter Dauten' and 'In de Bres' have stringent project regulations. The exterior of all nearly zero energy homes form a single visually coherent unit. However, everyone furnishes the inside of their home to their own taste, with owners having a completely free choice of materials for the interior decor. In this way they can immediately turn their sustainable house into a home.

By the way, did you know that walls in timber-frame buildings are thinner than in buildings using traditional construction techniques? As the insulation is integrated into the prefabricated panels, the walls are more compact. As a result you have more interior space for the same external dimensions.

A green company with plenty of experience

Machiels Building Solutions has a wealth of experience carrying out high-quality and sustainable residential timber-frame construction projects, of which 'Ter Dauten' and 'In de Bres' are just two recent examples. However, in recent years we have perfected our approach and methodology, by participating in various development projects. Careful planning means we can efficiently produce immaculate timber-frame housing, allowing us to put up developments that meet the strictest requirements in a short time.

Take a look at our other timber-frame new-build projects