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Green from within

Leen and Koen Wildemeersch live with their 20-month-old daughter Zoé in Aalter, Belgium, halfway between Ghent and Bruges. Their attitude towards life is green – as seen in their house.

Leen and Koen Wildemeersch’s house in Aalter has a very clean and modern appearance. Inside it is light and open-plan with large floor-to-ceiling windows leading out to the garden. Not only does the house look good, it is also highly functional. In line with their green and sustainable lifestyles, the owners have put a lot of thought into the building.

Leen and Koen are both construction engineers. They came up with the idea of their sustainable and efficient house while they were still living in their 85 m² flat in the centre of Ghent. “We both grew up in the countryside and wanted our children to have the same upbringing,” says Leen Vandenbussche.

“Sustainable living is important to us so we wanted to find a smart housing solution that reflected our beliefs.” When the first draft of the house was finalised, Leen and Koen consulted architects and installation engineers in order to develop a detailed concept that would turn their vision into reality. The result is a newly built, 200 m² environmentally friendly house with energy consumption levels that fall well within the EU’s 2020 targets E-level of E20. Its windows, walls and roof are all well insulated. While it is mandatory to recycle rainwater in Aalter, Leen and Koen have gone one step further by deciding to double the amount of rainwater they store from 5,000 to 10,000 litres.

At the heart of their concept is a heating system that features Vaillant’s flexoTHERM exclusive brine/water heat pump with a drilling depth of 125 m and a maximum of 11 kW output power combined with a geoSTOR VIH RW 400 litre hot water storage solution. A central ventilation system and a photovoltaic system complete the concept. “Our installation technician recommended a product with the Green iQ label. After comparing it with other products, we realised it combined all the features that are important to us,” says Koen Wildemeersch. “It’s eco-friendly and efficient, plus we can control the heating system using an app even when we’re not at home.”

The couple has consciously opted for a heat pump with drilling. “Although this means a higher investment, it has a clear price advantage for us in the long run. The system isn’t visible, there are no noise emissions, and there is little maintenance throughout the year,” summarises Leen .

Leen and Koen were so sure that the Green iQ product would be the perfect solution that they waited three months for the flexoTHERM exclusive to be released in Belgium. Leen and Koen have discovered their own way of living in line with their green attitude. “Every single day we look at each other and are so happy knowing that the house and the heating system are the perfect match for us,” concludes Leen . The family have been living in their new home since February 2016 – perfect timing as little Zoé took her first steps just after they moved in. And it won’t be long before they are living in a four-person household, with another little one now on its way.

Facts and figures

Building information
Description, name of projectSingle-family house in Aalter, Belgium
Type of buildSingle-family house
LocationAalter, Belgium
CompletionYear of construction: 2016
Key figures – area200 m² living space
Key figures – Energy concept details
  • Low-energy house realised through the installation of a flexoTHERM exclusive brine/water heat pump with a drilling depth of 125 m and max. 11 kW output power, combined with a 400-litre geoSTOR VIH RW 400 hot-water storage solution
  • PV system (14 PV modules) and central ventilation system
  • Rainwater storage (10,000 l); insulated windows, walls and roof
Vaillant products
  • flexoTHERM exclusive VWF 117/4 Green iQ heat pump, installed as brine/water solution with a drilling depth of 125 m
  • geoSTOR VIH RW 400 hot-water storage solution
  • multiMATIC 700 system control unit and passive cooling module as well as VR 900 gateway with multiMATIC app
Building ownersLeen and Koen Wildemeersch
ArchitectPeter Geldof, Hélène Maréchalhof 10B, 9050 Gentbrugge
Installation engineerRoodblauw A. Dierickx en Zoon BVBA, Brugstraat 166, 9880 Aalter