Gallery: The Netherlands’s First Energy-Neutral Monumental House by Zec...

Originally built at the end of the 20th century, a stunning villa sits within the tranquil Dutch village of Driebergen. Purchased not too long ago by a pair of preservation enthusiasts, the home was recently brought back to its orignal glory, furthermore becoming Holland's first energy-neutral monumental home. OPAi (One Planet Architecture Institute) developed the energy concept for the house, and then asked Zecc Architects to integrate their energy-neutral concept with a complete restoration and expansion of the classic home.

While the house appears to be pretty conventional from the outside, we can sense a mysterious that radiates from within. Surrounded by high trees, the has a solid front door facing the street and actually looks bigger than it actually is.

The house has been extended at the back with a a glass box topped with a concrete roof containing all new installations. One Planet Architecture Institute developed the house’s energy-neutral system, making sure that all the work done to the existing building is reversible and can be undone without leaving a trace. To insulate the villa, natural materials have been used where possible. The internal walls have been insulated with wood fiber and finished with a layer of mud plaster. The original wooden roof was insulated with flax – a natural ‘breathable’ material commonly used with half-timbered houses in the southern Netherlands and Germany.


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  1. quinny October 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Indeed, Holland is two provinces in the north-west of the Netherlands: South Holland and North Holland. There are 10 other provinces in The Netherlands.

    Also, Driebergen is not in either North or South Holland, it is in another province altogether (Utrecht).

    Even though I applaud that they’ve converted an old monumental house to higher standards, I find the windows done very ugly…

  2. pbj123 May 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    thanks for updating…sorry if my first comment came off as a little mean. the “holland” thing is just a weird pet peeve of mine. Great article though

  3. Ana Lisa Ana Lisa Alperovich May 26, 2011 at 11:27 am

    updated, thank you.

  4. pbj123 May 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    am i the only one who gets annoyed when people use “Holland” to refer to all of the Netherlands? Holland is not a country.

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