A dream becomes reality

Soon the first autarke accommodation is finished. In Cadzand an accommodation is created which is, energy wise, completely self-sufficient.

The house will be built in Zwindorp, commissioned by Astrid and Dick Rakhosrt. This entrepreneurs couple from Heeswijk-Dinther made name in the construction world by building the first sustainable art gallery in The Netherlands. Now they have turned their focus on self-sufficient accommodations, of which realization is near.

Home made from cross layer wood

Architect Renz Pijnenborgh of Archi service from ‘s-Hertogenbosch, a pioneer in environmentally friendly construction, has provided the drawings for this accommodation. The building is completely made out of cross layer wood and consist of three wedge shaped components, where the roofs are covered with solar panels whom produce sufficient energy to power the house. The surplus is stored in Dick’s electric car. The Tesla has been ordered and can also provide the house with power if needed.

A heat storage buffer in the basement and a heat pump take care of the heating of the accommodation. Natural ventilation, comfort and security are regulated by modern wireless domotics. Rainwater is used for the water, where natural and technical resources are used for purification and storage.

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Environmentally friendly and sustainable construction

The first meetings of the construction team took place in Zeeland (Netherlands) at the beginning of February. The team consists of people who have proven themselves in the field of environmentally and sustainable constructions, people from traditional companies who see this as a challenge and people from the hightech-sector who want to ensure home automation is a part of their daily lives.

Dick Rackhorst

Dick Rackhorst

Rakhost loves to initiate these kinds of projects, to be constantly stimulating sustainable innovations, and provide people with new ideas when brought together. “I’ve always been an innovative person, seeking opportunities and realising these with others. My daughter Anne-Marie (Duurzaam Gebouwd-expert Anne-Marie Rakhorst) is even better at it, because she is even more engaging than her father” he says with a smile on his face.

Rakhorst started his own company with his degree in HTS electronics and some experience in the field at the age of 29. “I started with bringing personal computers to the Netherlands. Back then there was a lack of affordable printers. By combining electronics, I created affordable printers which were able to work with all PC brands.” After he sold his company – Manudax – he bought a company specialized in electronic physical therapy devices.

The desire to be an entrepreneur and stimulate sustainable innovations still exists, despite almost being 75 years of age.
“My age, and that of my wife, who is a year younger, has been of great influence to start the project Cadzand. Are we doing it or not? We both knew it, we can do it – we have that luxury. And even more important: We were allowed to.”

Cadzand vakantiehuis

Cadzand summer home

For ages Rakhorst was held back. It cannot be done, not allowed to, unable to. And suddenly the lights turned green at Cadzand. They discovered Cadzand themselves. The family was looking for a place to spend their vacation and found a camp site at Knokke, Belgium. Dick discovered the less grey looking Cadzand at the other side of the border much more appealing. Via the campsite they moved to a bungalow, which is now being torn down. The permit has been granted. And now the second stage has commenced, the building of their new home.


DomoticaGuru-BeNext is helping integrate their state-of-the-art wireless technologies alongside architect Pijnenborgh, to connect all the technical installation like doors, windows, lighting, heating. Rakhorst is a strong believer of this technology. “We have gained sufficient experience in our sustainable gallery and current home where energy generation and consumption is monitored. A smart Fakro window has been installed in the roof which contributes to a healthier indoor climate via CO2 controlled regulators. This window also provides cooling, it automatically opens during the summer and closes when it is cooler outside than inside at night. We know that we do not need air conditioning in our summerhouse in Cadzand. If everything goes to plan we hope to be done this fall.” Rakhorst said.