Although brick homes are certainly nothing new, the respected building material is having somewhat of a renaissance moment as architects search for materials with sustainable properties. Dutch firm Joris Verhoeven Architectuur has just unveiled Villa Alders — a large, brick family home that runs completely on solar power, making the structure a zero-energy build.

brick home with cube volumes

A maintenance-friendly product, bricks are incredibly durable, meaning that they are suitable for virtually any climate. The porous nature of brick enables a tight thermal envelope because it can store and radiate heat when necessary. Brick is also unique in that it is a material that can be recycled or repurposed fairly easily when the structure has come to the end of its lifecycle.

Related: Green-roofed home in Poland is made out of reclaimed brick

two-story brick home

white living room with white and brown chairs and a brown coffee table

Keeping these features in mind, the architects created the beautiful Villa Alders in a way that complements, rather than stands out from, many other homes throughout the Netherlands. However, its boxy shape conceals a number of unique systems that enable the structure to be a zero-energy household.

white and light wood kitchen

black-framed glass doors leading from living area to bedorom

Punctuated with several windows, the house consists of several cubes clad in Belgian hand-molded bricks. Additionally, the home’s cubed volumes allowed the architects to use various flat roofs to their advantage. On the upper roof, a massive solar array meets all of the home’s energy needs while the lower roof was planted with a state-of-the-art cooling sedum green roof that adds significant insulation properties to the design.

brick home with carport

brick home with potted plants

The interior boasts a modern but warm living space. All-white walls and concrete flooring contrast nicely while an abundance of natural light in the living spaces further reduces energy demand during the day. Minimalist furnishings and art pieces are found throughout, adding to the home’s contemporary aesthetic.

number "22" laid in brick on a brick home

long, two-story brick home

The house is also designed to be flexible based on the family’s needs for generations to come. The layout spans two stories, which can be closed off to create a separate living area on the bottom floor after the children grow up and leave home. This allows for the possibility of creating a rental unit upstairs for extra income or a spacious guest room for visitors.

+ Joris Verhoeven Architectuur

Photography by John van Groenedaal via Joris Verhoeven Architectuur