THOREAQ construction progresses fast: two identical test homes at Thor Park take shape


Good news from the THOREAQ camp! The concrete structure of the two identical test houses that will be used to test the latest building and renovation techniques is ready. In the following weeks, the contractor will continue with the installation of the timber frame facades and roof structure. Both building parts are demountable, and therefore replaceable. This allows different facade and roof compositions to be tested and compared. The aim is to have them ready by the end of this year.

THOREAQ: an open test infrastructure for innovations in renovation solutions, integration of energy systems, improvement of indoor air quality and industrialised manufactured shell parts

For those who have already spotted it, two new test buildings are under construction at Thor Park. These two buildings are part of the THOREAQ project, which runs until the end of 2023 and is supported by ERDF React EU and the Flemish Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The aim of this project is to develop a permanent research infrastructure in which, together with companies, innovations in renovation techniques, improvement of indoor air quality and integration of energy systems can be tested and validated in real conditions. These include, for example, product innovations (integrated techniques, improved heat pumps or ventilation systems) but also the coupling, smart control and seamless interaction between these techniques.

The infrastructure, fully worked out in BIM (Building Information Modelling), will consist of three units: a technical hall and two identical buildings with the morphology of houses and equipped with redundant technologies and a comprehensive set of measuring equipment. In the two identical test buildings, currently taking shape at Thor Park, technologies and products can be tested, via so-called A/B testing, alongside each other. For example, if we want to know how different heat pumps perform in combination with different insulation techniques, storage systems or solar shading, this can be done in the different test buildings, which will also be inhabited by virtual residents.

The building shell of wood-frame facades and roof structure, also contribute to the test environment. In the future, THOREAQ offers the possibility, for example, of testing a facade or roof in which energy is generated or stored.

On to the next phase...

Although the infrastructure is still under development, it is also already looking further into the next phase. The intention is for the THOREAQ environment to take shape with other companies and become an engine of further research. The buildings will therefore be opened to partners so that they can test, optimise, and demonstrate their innovative products and services full-scale and real-life in a safe and controlled environment.

Ultimate ambition is to use the THOREAQ infrastructure to accelerate the Flemish renovation market and energy transition, shape major cost reductions and quality improvements in buildings, and significantly strengthen the ecosystem of companies involved.

Interested in being part of this ecosystem too? Do you have certain techniques, materials or combinations of both that you would like to test in a safe environment? Or do you think you have research questions that could be addressed in this infrastructure? If so, feel free to contact project leader Margo Colson. He will be happy to look at the possibilities with you.

We use cookies or similar technologies (e.g. pixels or social media plug-ins) to optimise your user experience on our website, among other things. In addition, we wish to use analytical and marketing cookies to personalise your visit to our website, to send targeted advertisements to you, and to give us more insight into your use of our website.

Do you consent to our use of cookies for an optimal website experience, so that we can improve our website and surprise you with advertisements? Then confirm with ‘OK’.

Conversely, would you like to set specific preferences for different types of cookies? This can be done via our Cookie Policy. Would you like more information about our use of cookies or how to delete cookies? Please read our Cookie Policy.