We want our architecture to be wholesome, for both you, its user and our planet. Therefore we employ a holistic way of designing, use of material and construction. Here you can read more about the five main ingredients we use in our process.
Collective housing projects are on the top of our list these days. It's where our sustainable approach and modular yet mass-customizable designs fall right into place. And where using bio based materials and energy architecture truly make an impact. Because of scale and because like-minded people proudly co-creating their own environment are more apt to manifest the behavioral change which puts sustainable thinking into practice.
Are you a (bunch of) fire starter(s) ready to develop a collective project? Big, small, urban, rural? Dig our projects? Read more about Co-housing and apply for a free workshop! >>
Discontent with traditional building methods and eager to explore the potential of highly customizable building blocks, Daniel Venneman (founder of Woonpioniers) started his independent career developing the Hermit Houses, a modular cabin concept. Subsequently other projects found his way, Woonpioniers was born and modularity has become one of our main, sustainable ingredients.
Thinking modular can be a fundamental and effective way of wasting less material, energy and money. It allows for mass-prefabrication under controlled conditions and lightning fast assembly on site. Furthermore it opens up the gateway for adaptive volumes; starting small, perhaps expanding later, or reduce or even move! Finally, at the end of their lifespan, modular elements should be easily disassembled, if possible re-assembled or, if made out of bio-based materials, composted by nature.
This said, there's a risk in striving for an all too effective modular approach, as is no secret in our world today: it can easily result in soullessness and one-size-fits-all. Monotony is precisely what we try to avoid. Instead, through the benefits of modularity we strive to empower people with an ordinary budget to be the co-creators of their own dwelling and make ecologically responsible choices. Using modularity at just the right place and with just the right grain size.
When you see our modular icon next to one of our projects a distinct modular choice has been made.
3. BIO BASED MATERIALS
Within all of our projects a substantial amount of biobased materials are used like wood and cellulose, straw, hemp fibers, wool, earth and clay. These can easily be either regrown or composted. In other words we always try to minimize the use of artificial, toxic products and finite raw resources.
It can be quite a struggle to make structural changes in the materials used for constructing buildings. They often are not (yet) commonly used and could require a specific way of applying, which might push up prices and seem expensive in the short run. Sometimes these healthy alternatives even need extra substantiation to get a building permit, even when surpassing the attributes of their traditional counterpart.
This is one good reason why we spend quite some time together with suppliers and contractors working on new production processes which may act as the focal point for new modular concepts. This way natural resources and their application really become the sustainable backbone of our architecture, instead of just some nice but uninspired finish.
4. ENERGY ARCHITECTURE
Right in an early stage of designing or customizing one of our modular concepts, we start exploring which low-tech, holistic interventions might reduce energy consumption while still ensuring or even improving on comfort. The local climate, the position of the sun throughout the year, natural surroundings and lifestyle are all discussed and taken into account. Next we (computer-)analyze different scenario's and elaborate an inclusive and affordable final plan.
Our overall aim is to power, heat and cool by, as much as possible, using smart, simple (and often good old) natural principles. And to ensure additional high-tech installations can be optimally operated and enjoyed.
Over the years we've also come to be quite familiar with so called "off-grid" applications, like solar and battery packages, (rain)water filters, compost toilets and halophyte. These enable people to live partially or entirely self reliant, without making use of public utilities. There are all kinds of considerations when it comes to off-grid which we can inform you about.
As our projects grow from single houses into bigger buildings and small settlements, the land(scape) becomes a major ingredient and a beautiful responsibility. One that offers whole new opportunities like collectively harvesting and purifying rainwater, purifying waste water through halophyte, growing your own food and creating biodiversity.
Within our team there's an abundance of experience and eagerness to involve the land and let whatever we do with or build upon it be a conscious, wholesome act.