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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Transport & Construction | Ballast Nedam More power to the people

More power to the people

Ballast Nedam

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As part of the drive to lower emissions, Ballast Nedam has gone back to the drawing board, and developed one of their sustainable solutions – the new prefab housing range, IQ-house. This sustainable living concept combines prefab housing construction with independent energy supply.

It has many advantages such as:

  • low construction costs;
  • shorter construction time;
  • high building quality;
  • less carbon emission;
  • less construction waste;
  • less disturbance for the surrounding environment during construction;
  • wide range of interior/exterior variations;
  • flexible towards consumer demands; and,
  • self sustained energy concept.

An introduction to the IQ house

A prefab IQ-house basically consists of six rectangular concrete elements, produced in a therefore specially designed factory that, once put together, form a three-story house (roof included). It is in this factory, that all the concrete elements are produced specifically to consumer demands. This includes finishing of the interior, i.e. the bathroom, kitchen, staircase, and even the tiles on the wall.

Because production takes place under set conditions, not only is high quality guaranteed, but also the amount of construction waste (because of close cooperation with suppliers) is cut to a minimum.

Once the elements are finished, they are placed on a truck and transported to the site. There a crane lifts them into position onto the designated foundation. This whole process only takes half a day, reducing the disturbance for the direct environment significantly. By this method, the amount of labour transportation and movement of materials to the construction site are greatly reduced, compared to the traditional ways of construction. This results in a significant lower carbon footprint of the whole process.

Because the total reduction of building time, from order to delivery, is drastically reduced, the cost for financing is also lessened considerably.

Independent energy supply

Allowing future inhabitants of an IQ-house to become more independent of fossil fuel, renewable energy producing systems (e.g. photovoltaic cells on the roof) are an important part of this building concept. In order to find a balance between the produced solar energy and daily (and seasonal) demands, Ballast Nedam provides the consumers with a system to store the excessively produced energy. The company partnered with UK-based ITM-Power that delivers hydrogen solutions for practical day-to-day use. By having a hydrogen unit at home and a panel of solar cells, one easily transforms energy into hydrogen and vice versa whenever it’s needed. This hydrogen can then be used to heat, cook and fill up the hydrogen car.

In choosing this type of housing with its renewable energy concept the consumer becomes more powerful in making own decisions, and less dependent on construction processes and fossil fuel.

Ballast Nedam NV is a multidisciplinary Dutch property and infrastructure construction group, offering a wide range of products and services. In order to offer the best sustainable total solutions in the built environment Ballast Nedam Sustainability Services BV was founded. They provide Ballast Nedam with a result-oriented sustainability policy resulting in an integrated blend of specialties and operations in all phases of the construction process.

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Ballast Nedam

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