Smart matrices for quickly and affordably making homes more sustainable

At present, the Netherlands has millions of poorly to moderately insulated homes, which causes the consumption of an enormous amount of fossil fuels. This consumption, of course, harms the climate. Housing corporation Welbions, contractors Van Wijnen and Trebbe, knowledge platform Pioneering and Saxion have developed a matrix to quickly gain insight into how to affordably make homeownership more sustainable. The first portico apartment from the fifties in Hengelo is being tackled as a pilot. 

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In short

  • Millions of homes in the Netherlands must be made more sustainable 
  • A matrix has been developed that provides quick insight into the best and most affordable measures to improve sustainability
  • The first portico apartment in Hengelo is being tackled as a pilot
Pioneering together towards the most sustainable solution for the future

Pioneering is a knowledge platform for innovation in construction. Corporations, companies and knowledge institutions are pioneering and sharing knowledge in concrete projects. They do this in so-called MDO Labs in which there is room for Most Sustainable Solution (MDO) experiments. Also, knowledge is shared on upscaling and accelerating solutions. The focus is on innovative, affordable solutions that contribute to having the built environment CO2-neutral by 2050. Especially in the larger cities, the Twente corporations manage many properties that were built in the 1950s and 60s. To efficiently renovate these homes in a future-proof and CO2-neutral manner, various parties are working on an affordable concept that includes Most Sustainable Solutions. Corporations such as Welbions, companies including Trebbe and Van Wijnen, and Saxion colleges are jointly developing this concept in the MDO Labs as mentioned earlier. “Pioneering has brought these parties together. Together, we have worked on a good mix of choices between sustainability and affordability for both tenants and corporations”, says Gerard Salemink of Pioneering.

From a smart trade-off matrix to a future-proof solution

The MDO-Lab for properties built in the 50s and 60s took up the challenge to develop a concept that would not lead to regrets afterwards. Before the innovative solutions were devised, a trade-off matrix was developed to provide insight into the feasibility and affordability of plans quickly. The matrix must give a first realistic estimate, based on 80 - 90 per cent certainty. The model is based on three choices for the components “shell insulation”, “installations” and “(sustainable) energy”. The matrix provides insight into the energetic result, the costs, the consequences for residents and corporations, and the CO2 emissions. By adjusting the component choices, an optimum can be sought. “It is possible to make portico apartments sustainable, but the parties involved must to go for it together," said Wouter Huuskes, deputy director at Trebbe.

The actual assignment

A flat from Welbions, on the Breemarsweg in Hengelo, was used as the base for the matrix. In consultation with the working group, the best option was selected from the matrix. “We take the wishes of our current and future residents into account. We want to create an energy-efficient, healthy and affordable home”, explains Hans Krabbe, Real Estate Project Manager at Welbions. To prepare the apartment complex at the Breemarsweg for the future, its ground floor will be insulated, as will the cavity walls of the side and front facade. The rear facade will be insulated by applying cladding. The current glazing will be replaced with double glazing, a heat recovery unit will be installed, and the porch apartment will be repainted. The bathroom, kitchen and toilet will be renovated where necessary. The renovations are expected to be finished in January 2020. “The residents are enthusiastic about the upcoming work on their homes, where user-friendliness, affordability and comfort are the most important goals. A comfortable, well-insulated home that can last for years and is ready for the future", says Melanie Stemerdink, Maintenance & Management Manager at Van Wijnen. Once the construction work is completed, MDO Lab’s job is not yet done. The flat will be monitored, and the results are compared with the intended results as predicted by the matrix.

Date: 24 October 2019
Source of tekst: Pioneering
Author: Twente.com
Audio / video: Pioneering