New Housing Concepts: Modular, Circular, Biobased, Reproducible, and Affordable

L.M. Oorschot, M.F. Asselbergs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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For a moment, it seemed that the architect had disappeared from the construction supply chain for sustainable and affordable housing provided by Dutch housing associations. Large contractors were making direct agreements with housing associations and wanted to scale up production with their housing factories. However, with the ‘So You Think You Can BUILD’ challenge, architects, consultancies, and contractors reinvented themselves within the construction supply chain and acquired a position as providers of circular building concepts. The aim of this challenge is to stimulate providers of homes to design and produce (in great numbers) affordable and sustainable houses. This not only scales up building production in empty fields but also within difficult and dense build urban areas. A whole new generation of Dutch architects, consultancies, and contractors working in collaboration are now intensively involved with circular and biobased residential buildings, innovative materials and production processes. They are managing to provide attractive products for housing associations and other clients. In the first part of 2021, ‘So You Think You Can BUILD’ challenged teams of designers, engineers and contractors to develop new concepts, with the three winners applying the principles of the ‘passive house’, which is modular and circular, as well as a smart building skin and smart core with open floor space in between.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13772
Number of pages19
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Affordable housing
  • Circular economy
  • Conceptual houses
  • Energy transition
  • Housing crisis
  • Modular houses
  • Smart homes
  • The Netherlands


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