project description

More than 40% of the residential apartment buildings in North- and West-Europe date from the sixties and seventies and were the examples of progression in their time. Nowadays, these buildings are mostly outdated and in poor comfort conditions requiring a thorough renovation to meet the requirements again. In Belgium, contractors such as Etrimo shaped the skyline of many suburbs of big cities with their residential towers and were therefore chosen as the case study for the project. Since these buildings have a lack of thermal insulation, up-to-date technical installations and the required comfort, a renovation strategy was developed based on the main principles of the concept: modularity and circularity. At the same time, these principles were translated into the Modular Building Block, or the Mobble.
A flexible module that can be used as a temporary housing unit during the renovation of these buildings but with which we also want to address some social and ecological challenges by proposing an exemplary solution.

key features

  • The modular design allows to create custom-sized spaces for each function or inhabitant composition, resulting in a space saving concept with significant energy saving in the longer term.
  • Circularity is used as a mean to develop a fast and reversible construction method. This allows to remove building components at the end of the service life of the building and to reuse them in other applications for the remainder of their lifespan, resulting in a saving of raw materials and production energy.
  • The modularity, circularity and standardization of the used building components provide an easy, less error prone and rapid execution of the renovation. As a result, there is a greater support amongst the inhabitants to renovate.
  • Innovative technologies and installations can be incorporated in the building components to resolve the deficiencies by only replacing the building envelope during renovation.

applied innovative technologies

  • ELECTRICITY: innovative solution to combine “non-smart” devices with smart operating control systems by integrating combined PV inverters and their inverter battery.
  • HVAC: a performant building envelope, passive strategies and a light weight construction are used in combination with an air to air heat pump to get a fast-responding system.
  • PVT PANELS: provide solar energy, heat domestic water or cool water at night, which is stored in a buffer tank to be used as a passive cooling installation during the day.
  • IoT TECHNOLOGY: by GPS signals, but also through apps, your smartphone knows when you arrive at home. The control of the HVAC system can anticipate on this expected arrival.
  • WATER: closing the water cycle by purification techniques and predictive energy saving control system for safe water without harmful organisms such as legionella.
For more information about the prototype and the Team, please visit the project website: