Recap: End Activity 2018

From Friday the 8th till Sunday the 10th of June, Mollier went on an end activity with a big group of 27 people. With 7 cars, everyone had a space for their selves and their luggage to head to the secret location, which turned out to be near the village of Lierneux in the Ardennes, Belgium.

After having arrived, dinner was made (risotto!) and the first beverages of this weekend were drunk, with many to follow. After dinner, the evening was filled up with drinking, games, drinking games, talking and a great speech of the chairman.
The next day everyone had to rise and shine early, for there was an activity planned at 10:00 AM. After breakfast and packing lunch everyone got in their car with their bathing clothes on and went to the village Coo where we would all go kayaking for a distance of almost 7 kilometres. It is needless to say not all would stay dry during the trip downstream, but fun we had! While drying up after the kayaking, a friterie was visited for the needed Belgian fries and snacks (apparently a broodje frikandel is served with fries in Belgium).
Back in the house, not everyone was that active anymore but that all changed when the plans for the evening were revealed: BBQ and karaoke! Many drinks were consumed in the course of the evening and night which we probably all felt the next morning.

Sunday, the day of cleaning and leaving the house, the last activity was planned to the cave of Aywaille. Having first driven to the wrong address, all had miraculously found a parking space for their car near the cave. First we had a walking tour through this cave, which followed in a boat tour in the river which was floating in the cave.

After this activity, it was finally time to say goodbye to each other and some went straight back to Eindhoven while others stayed a little longer to have lunch at another friterie.

Recap: Lunch Lecture #8

On the 31st of May, Andreja Andrejevic and Jasper Spiegeler from DPA|Cauberg-Huygen and Harold Vreeburg from Croonwolter&dros|TBI provided us with a lunch lecture.

Firstly, DPA|Cauberg-Huygen talked about the use of parametric design. The standard calculations are hereby stored in algorithms and made visible in 3D; Making it more clear what the differences in design mean for the physics of the building. Two projects created with this design were highlighted in the presentation: the Hyde Park project in Hoofddorp, where the amount of daylight was calculated, and Pit Lab, a project where the ventilation is calculated. In the next INSide, 2017-2018 #2, there will be an article by DPA|Cauberg-Huygen about this concept.

The second and last speaker of the day was Harold Vreeburg form Croonwolter&dros|TBI. His presentation was about the company TBI and about the plans to make the Netherlands gas-free by the year 2050. Harold thinks this is possible, when the way of building is different and when the building sector will be more innovative than the last thousands of years. After his presentation, a discussion started about this subject.

Presentation Croonwolter&dros | TBI

We would like to thank the presenters and their companies for their presentations and hope to see them next year too!

Recap: Richard’s Lasergame

On the 24th of May, 23 Mollier members were divided in four teams and then battled eachother in lasergame. Large numbers of lasers were shooted, many hits were reported and the frustrations of most participants were released through combat.
We all had a fun evening hope to see everyone on the next fun activity.

Recap: Lunch Lecture #7

On the 18th of May, Ilse Dijkstra-Nugteren of Deerns and Marthe Doornbosch of Heijmans provided us with an interesting lunch lecture.

Ilse, from Deerns, spoke about the building physics of the ASML-plaza, the canteen of ASML where 1,500 people can have lunch. This project consisted of two parts: a renovation of an existing part with no daylight, and a construction of a part with a 12 meter high ceiling with a lot of day lighting. She did the lighting design and the acoustics of the project.

Marthe from Heijmans talked about BeSense, a startup where existing buildings can be made ‘smart’. The idea is that every workplace and every room has a sensor, which can be used to show which parts have to be cleaned, where a free workplace is, if there are too little or too many workspaces and more ideas are coming.

We would like to thank the speakers for this lunch lecture!

Recap: RETScreen workshop

Last Friday VanHout adviseurs en installateurs came by and gave us an interesting course about RETScreen. RETScreen is an energy management software system for energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration project feasibility analysis as well as ongoing energy performance analysis.

Jan van Hout, the director of the company, and Sander ter Mors, a Medior engineer, took us on a journey to discover the possibilities of RETScreen. Last year they also gave a crash course where they showed us how to make PV-panels feasible on a dwelling ( This year they gave a small introduction to the software. We did a workshop on how to import and analyze data from the fuel consumption of a project. We made a prediction for the ongoing fuel consumption and compared this with the actual consumption. This way we could see how an improvement in the system reduces the fuel demand.

After that we did a similar analysis of the data of a PV-panel. By analyzing the data we could see that for a while more electricity was generated then there was expected and for another period less. This was caused by roof maintenance and a lighting strike. It is important that when someone places PV-panels on their roof they also make sure that it keeps working according to expectations.

It was a really interesting course and we would like to thank Jan and Sander for coming.

Study Trip Chicago day 12 and 13

On this extended weekend, the majority of Mollier woke up in the wee hours of the almost afternoon. After a healthy breakfast (or brunch?) of bread, eggs and bacon, most of the squad enjoyed some games in the sunny weather outdoors that only left a handful un-tanned. In the true American spirit, we had pizza delivered and devoured it all at around 4pm, in preparation for an Italian dinner…. cooked by Italians!

Afternoon siestas took a toll on a big part of the group and thus, the once sporty group decimated and some other adventurers set out to find some ciggy wiggys, which they did successfully, but failed at hitchhiking back. In this pursuit, the paranoid shopkeeper flipped at Pim’s fancy filming gear (that has accompanied him everywhere on this trip). We cannot wait to see what the end result is going to be, Pim!

While most of the squad that was still awake was rather occupied with stress pong, drinking, cards against humanity, some other card games and regenwormen, all while devouring some oven fresh pizza, Martijn set out on a quest to light a ciggy wiggy, not with a lighter but some glowing embers. Let’s just say it was a good long laugh for the rest of us until he succeeded. In the meantime, the lovely Italians took up the task of cooking pasta with meatballs for Mollier and we ended up eating minced meat pasta and veggies. We’re still waiting on those meatballs, though. The study trip committee chairman gave a thank you speech as it was our last night and we had another amazing speech by Ruben. In a surprise takeover, the previous year’s committee surprised the current committee with gifts! In which the committee and the board then had to take shots of Jagermeister. Just keeping up with the traditions, no big deal.

We then enjoyed some delicious s’mores and werewolves by the campfire and some lucky guesses and unfortunate misses later, the citizens managed to win, thanks to Ola’s instincts. The early victims of the game started their own games indoors while the rest enjoyed some cozy Dutch oven conversations by the fire, until some people thought it would be fun to play another round of werewolves. Some others had some late night spooning on their minds. A second round of s’mores were roasted and in the warmth of the dying fire, the evening also came to a close with nothing but aching jaws, and teary-eyes from all the laughter we shared and all the happy memories made from all these days spent together!

Fret not, we are not done yet! The struggle of packing the next morning was real. The little explosions of luggage around the rooms were gathered and packed more or less efficiently by everyone; squeezing in all the souvenirs, Cubs fan merchandise and glassware safely (the safety aspect is still questionable). We still had plenty of food left in the fridge, so breakfast was bigger than usual. With a quick clean-up session, most of the bunkhouse was returned back to its original state. Except for the can recycling bag. That bag has endured some trauma and will never look the same again. Luggage was then loaded into the bus to make the hour long drive to the airport a lot easier than hopping around with the public transport for 3 hours. Thankfully, we did not have to endure the noisy CTA trains anymore! Arriving much earlier than planned at the state-of-the-art airport with no wi-fi, we were all checked-in, scanned and ready for departure! While some of us set out to spend our last few dollars on souvenirs and gifts, some others ate and rested. In due time, as we boarded our flight all set for departure, the city cried heavy tears of sorrow, sad to see us go. This delayed our take off by an hour but then finally, we were on our way! Netherlands, here we come!

– Written by Meghana & Daria –

Study Trip Chicago day 10 and 11

Some of us started the day off right with some healthy and relaxing yoga in the nature around us on Camp Sullivan. Today was a free day so everyone was free to do whatever they wanted to do. One of the two groups went back to downtown Chicago to do some last-minute shopping, meeting with friends or find some souvenirs.

The other group went to a shopping mall not too far from the campsite. After taking the bus to the Chicago ridge mall we spent the day buying food, shoes and clothes.
After a while the group was done shopping and went back to the camp using Uber. At dinnertime there was quite some difference amongst us. Since there was a free day everyone had to arrange their own food. Some were eating pizza while some where eating bread and cheese. After dinner we had some quality time with each other playing card games before going to sleep.

Next day we started off the day even better with bacon and eggs during breakfast. Everyone was still a bit dull from the night before and had some time to relax since there wasn’t a busy schedule today. Some were playing Swedish puzzles, others went outside to throw some rugby balls and playing soccer.

There was an (optional) hike on the agenda so we gathered everyone that wanted to join, got some beverages and left the campsite. After one hour of walking heavy heavy rainfall started. Of course, it happened right at the turnaround point of the hike, so we were as far away as possible from the campsite. The walk back was close to an hour and it didn’t stop raining at all. Everyone was soaked when we got back.

In the evening the pajama party was planned. The cabin was reorganized, balloons were blown and the fun began. During the party we held a costume related contest. The winners were:

Best socks – Arjan
Most clumsy – Pim and Daria tie
Best shorts – Martijn
Best pantoffles – Marjolijn
Most late arrivals in general – Meghana
Best onesie – Wesley
Clumsy story – Martijn setting trash can on fire with cigarette in the shopping mall.
Best matching outfit – Arjan due to the SpongeBob shirt and socks
Oldest pajamas – Pim 12+ years

After the nominations, some drinking games were played such as beer pong and stress pong. In between the games Gert-Jan asked for everybody’s attention multiple times because he wants to fart in a lighter. So, with some dancing, talking and gaming it was a very fun night.

– Written by Wesley and Youri –

Study Trip Chicago day 9

The day started with our last breakfast at the hostel, so we could finally say goodbye to the bagels with peanut butter that we had to eat all week. We were picked up at the hostel by a luxurious bus with blue lights and a wooden floor, that was arranged by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). This is a huge facility that creates building standards, tests products and certifies them.

After the trip to UL, which was very silent, because most Mollier members were watching the inside of their eyelids, we were welcomed by Sean DeCrane and Theresa Nemeth. They gave us a short introduction to UL and what the program of the day was going to be. After putting on some nice blue helmets and a pair of goggles, we left to the fire safety facilities of UL. Here we saw the new smoke alarm lab that opened this year, where they test smoke detectors and alarms for residential and commercial purposes. At the moment they are conducting false alarm tests, because a lot of people turn the alarm off because of this. After that we went to another lab, where UL does commodity testing. They have a huge testing facility (100x100ft) with a moveable ceiling to test whether sprinkler systems work according to the design. We also saw their steiner tunnel, which they use to perform surface burn tests to assess how far the flames go over a surface. Youri had a very interesting question about the smell of the room, which Shaun explained was his body odor.

After the tour through the fire safety labs, we went back to the conference room we started in, for a Q&A session with Dwain Sloan. He told us about the challenges of UL for the next years; technology is outrunning the ability to make codes. Some examples are guaranteeing the fire safety of wooden high-rise structures, cannabis production and autonomous vehicles.

We then took the bus to another building at the UL campus, were they conduct fenestration tests. Before the tour, UL arranged a wide variety of different lunch boxes for us, which resulted in people almost fighting for their favorite choice. After the lunch (with delicious, America-sized cookies) Wayne Breighner started the tour with showing his office. After opening one of his closets, it turned out this led to a secret bathroom with shower. We then continued to the actual labs of UL Fenestration Services. Wayne first showed us how they test the failure of doors, which is done by simply opening and closing it 20,000 times. Luckily, he doesn’t have to do it manually. We then entered the thermal chamber that is used to determine the U-values of constructions. However, we had to evacuate the chamber after a gas leakage of one of our members. We moved on to some door safety tests, were UL tests how easily a door can be kicked in. We even got to take part in a heavy rainstorm simulation. UL did this by blowing a lot of water on a façade construction that we were standing behind. Luckily nobody got wet feet. At last, we even got to see a spectacular test of tornado resisting glass that was conducted by shooting a wooden beam onto the glass with a big cannon. The glazing however did not withstand the force of the wooden beam, which turned the test into some nice video material.

After the tour, we wanted to make a group picture at UL. However, Martijn and Ola were having a private moment in the secret bathroom of Wayne (of course not at the same time). Shaun of UL managed to make all Mollier members euphoric by telling that the party bus (or for some members sleeping bus) was able to bring us to Camp Sullivan, which meant we didn’t have to take lots of busses and trains to get there.

The trip to Camp Sullivan took us through the not so hilly countryside of Cook County. When we arrived, we were handed the key to a large cabin, which we immediately decorated by hanging the Mollier banner on the wall. Jantje, one of the Marcs and Remco went to Walmart to buy groceries, as we didn’t have any food or drinks yet. The rest went searching for wood to make a campfire and use our newly learned fire safety skills. The Walmart turned out to be enormous, so Jantje, Marc and Remco were lost several times and it took them quite some hours to find everything. Meanwhile at Camp Sullivan, all remaining Mollier members were starving and dehydrated. When the Uber car with all the groceries (and Jantje, Marc and Remco, but nobody seemed to care about that) arrived at the campsite, everybody stormed towards the car, screaming and cheering along the way.

The ladies and our Italian stallion Marcello took it upon themselves to prepare our dinner, which existed of some hotdogs and baked potatoes from the campfire. After dinner, the group seated themselves around the campfire to start a game of Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow. Just like at UL, we had another delay. This time due to Jantje and Gert-Jan, who were ‘doing the dishes’. It was a very intense game that led to a lot of frustrations, so afterwards we needed some relaxation time with refreshing drinks and a huge bucket of cheesy puffs. The next day was the first day that we could finally sleep in, so a small group saw this as an opportunity to remain seated around the campfire until 4 o’clock in the night.

– Written by Remco and Ruben –

Study Trip Chicago day 8

Today we woke up with stormy weather, but luckily the sky cleared when we headed out to the metro station to go visit the Lightfair. First, we needed to recharge our public transport carts since our week passes expired. Our first experience with obtaining these Ventra cards didn’t turn out great at the airport, hence the early start of the day. After a short metro trip we arrived at McCormick place where the Lightfair is held. The Lightfair is the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial trade show and conference. This 5-day event started at Sunday with the pre-conference and will last until Thursday. Being fairly early at the Lightfair all gave us plenty of time to explore the fair before each group attended their scheduled speaker session of a topic of interest. Some subjects of the visited seminars are: Lighting metrics for well-being, spectral design of healthcare environments and Lighting the way to Net Zero Buildings. Most of the seminars were found very interesting, others a little less.
Lots of companies, ranging from American to Asian were showing state of the art lightning technologies implemented in new LED fixtures or smart building applications. Although a lot of products were found to be quite familiar with existing applications, a range of new products have been showed that opened up very interesting conversations. Later in the afternoon about half of the group joined in a student and emerging professional networking event. Here we have gotten the chance to talk to some of the professionals in the lighting industry. 5 professionals rotated between the different table setups in which different topics were discussed.
At the end of the day we all went home with a goodie bag and the free drinks offered at some of the stands have been much appreciated after quite the intense day program. Heading back to the hostel during rush-hour has been quite the challenge since not everyone fitted in the already crowed metro wagons. The majority of the group didn’t notice the incredible heavy rainfall while being underground. Others where not so lucky and get soaked while heading to the hostel by foot. Returned at the hostel, some of the group members ate the leftovers of the deep-dish pizzas whereas the others went to have dinner in a nearby restaurant.
– Written by Pim and Nick –

Study Trip Chicago day 7

Keeping up with the practice of getting a ‘good night’s sleep’, Mollier was up and running at 8 am after a quick breakfast to head to Arcadis downtown.

While stuffing our faceswith some amazing and fresh baked muffins, we were introduced to Arcadis’ company organization, the various disciplines and their future plans by Paul Darby, the associate VP and an avid water skiing enthusiast. He then guided us on a walking tour of their projects and sites- first through an art museum designed by Renzo Piano, to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab and then to the Gems World Academy, one of Chicago’s premier schools (which will leave you $40,000 poorer every year). Here we also passed by the city’s next tallest building, a wavy beast which most of us thought was a construction error.

If no one has already mentioned, Chicago’s trains are hideously loud. These living acoustic and vibration nightmares are being renovated by the amazing George, who is also from Arcadis. He also explained a lot about how the project was being undertaken while the transit lines were active. Every seven minutes, the work was stopped to allow the trains to pass. Most of the work happened on the weekends, with only a few irate passengers inconvenienced by the stoppage. All in all, it was a marvel of a project with very challenging constraints that were meticulously negotiated and executed by their team. On the same CTA line are four other stations slated for renovation, with a total cost of around 2 billion dollars expected to take 7 long years. The city does plan to replace all the noisy-ness soon. It might take long, but they will get there soon. Or so they say.

After looking at some intimidating construction drawings, we had worked up an appetite to devour a barbarically large American pizza which was almost a meter across. No lies. Not one. Three. We Mollier pigs finished it all. Even the salad and soda were not spared. Some people got to peep into the vault of the bank that was in the same building. Only looking and no touching.

After being highly recommended by multiple Chicagoans, we took a(n extremely cheap) ride on the water taxi through downtown and some beers were involved*. While most of the group decided to freeload back downtown, some of us set out on an adventure to explore china(town) and were thoroughly disappointed by the lack of dragons.

In the free time, a couple of beers were emptied*. The hot temperatures of the city drove Mollier to the beach and a swim in the freezing cold water, which, at the moment, seemed like a really good idea. Some more beers were gedronken*, songs sung and grocery-store-celebrity-run-in anecdotes from Marc were exchanged.

When we finally came home, we finished some more beers for a change, while some other people snored away to glory.

*We do not have an alcohol problem, we promise.

– Written by Meghana, moral support and supervision by Martijn –