Architect in ChargeMassimo Pignanelli
Text description provided by the architects. Skilpod, founded in 2013, is a fast growing prefab construction company located in Geel, Belgium, specialized in the production of 3D prefab houses in CLT(Cross Laminated Timber).
Skilpod offers solutions for all types of living possibilities ranging from houses of 30m² up to 150m². The focus is on small size houses (+- 50m² in one module) for social housing or group living projects. Main focus groups are single parent families, older people and first time renters/buyers. Modules can be connected or stacked on top off each other to form apartment blocks.
The #150 – zero energy Skilpod is one of the larger models Skilpod produces. The design is done by UAU Collectiv who composed the complete Skilpod style. It is completely build up in the factories in Geel, Belgium and transported in 3 pieces to it’s final location.
Skilpod installed the house about 3 months after receiving the building permit. The actual building period took about 4 weeks to complete the house.
Skilpod modules are insulated up to passive standards with a special new system from Rockwool, called Redair (high density Rockwool), especially designed for CLT. Skilpod used an open and ventilated façade system with FSC labeled Padouk (tropical hardwood), a very durable material said to last longer than stone facades.
The massive wood construction is ideal to keep the warmth out in summer, the rockwool to keep the warmth in, in winter.
The foundations/cellar are made from concrete. They started foundation work at the same time as they started producing the modules, everything started simultaneously and thus optimizing production times.
The backside of the house is completely faced south, so in order to keep the summer sun out they used a special new type of glass with solar filter to keep the sun out, but not the light (AGC’s Stopray). This way sunscreens where not necessary.
The house is heated with floor heating with an air to water electrical heat pump from Mitsubishi (Ecodan) which also covers hot water. The ventilation system is also from Mitsubishi (Lossnay), and has a heat recovery system (system D). Due to high airtightness and insulation values the house could have been heated with an electrical heater of about 1 kw. In combination with solar panels the house will be energy neutral.
Because the living area is about 3m higher than the street level the inhabitants have a great view on the ranch, fields and forest across the plot, but also view from the street is blocked due to fact that the living area is on the first floor. In the back the garden is at the same level as the interior floor.
The garden is also completed with large prefab concrete elements in the same philosophy as the house was build, with special attention to fast installation and low maintenance.
One of the main features of the interior are the curtains, which run completely around the living area. When opened, a large living space is created with wide views on the garden and area around the house, but when closed they are separating living/dining/playing room in different cozy areas. For instance, when the children make a mess in the playing room they just close the curtains and the mess is gone for the evening…
Product Description: The structure of the modules is completely made of CLT or Cross Laminated Timber. The largest boards that were used have dimensions of 12m by 4m and 14cm in thickness. They were transported from Germany with police escort.
We used different types of thickness in order off length of the span of the roof, walls and floor, ranging from 100mm (5 layers) to 140mm (7 layers)
The main reasons to use CLT are the following:
- Strength during transport and lifting
- Airtightness: CLT is from a thickness of 10cm considered to be airtight (N50 of the house is 0,55)
- Insulating values of wood (no cold bridges)
- Internal moist regulation
- Fire resistance
- Wood consumes CO2, it doesn’t produce it
Because the floors are included in the modules and the special shape of the modules we can make bigger spans than comparable structures made in classical building construction.