In the sustainable renovation project â€˜The Existing District of Tomorrow,’ 153 rental homes are being transformed into attractive and very energy-efficient houses that fully comply with the passive house standards. The project applies a unique and extremely fast renovation method that takes only ten working days to complete. The goal of the projectis to create a passive neighbourhood that can serve as a symbol of how issues with existing housing are being dealt with in the Netherlands.
To ensure that the district of Kerkrade-West continues to be an attractive place to live in the future, 153 rental houses, built in 1974, are renovated to very energy-efficient buildings (from label D to A++) and will comply with passive house standards. The houses are fitted with completely new outer walls, a new roof with an integrated solar energy system, a solar boiler, a high-efficiency combination boiler, new radiators, and a ventilation system with heat recovery. The ground floor is also fitted with underfloor insulation.
Thanks to an innovative, series-based approach, the total renovation takes place in 10 working days and occupants do not need to vacate their homes during the renovation activities.
Approval of the residents had to be gained to be able to increase the monthly rental fee by an average of â‚¬65 per month to pay for the building renovation activities. However, the occupants will save as much as â‚¬100 per month on their total energy bill: â‚¬50 on natural gas and â‚¬50 on electricity. As part of their monthly rental fee, occupants will also pay a fee for use of the solar panels, which is equal to half of the value of the electricity expected to be produced by the house. HEEMwonen, the housing association, will monitor developments to check whether its projections are correct. If it turns out that the fee paid by the occupants is higher than the value of the electricity produced, HEEMwonen will repay the occupants the difference. This guarantee provision helped persuade residents to participate in the project.
The first phase of the renovation project was launched in June 2012, and the first 95 houses have already been completely renovated. The remaining 58 will be completed in August 2013.
Type: Residential, retrofit
Size: 153 rental homes
Year of realisation: 2011-2013
- The energy labels of the houses improve from D to A++, meaning they become extremely energy efficient
- Residents save â‚¬ 35/month
- Renovations takes place in 10 working days
- Residents do not to vacate their homes during the renation activities
Construction and long-term maintenance: BAM Utiliteitsbouw BV region Noord
The energy labels of the houses improve from D to A++. The houses are equipped with new faÃ§ades and roofs, which are fitted with a thick layer of insulation. The roofs are installed over the existing roofs to minimize disruptions of the residents. Furthermore a solar energy system, including solar panels and solar collectors, is integrated into the roof. Because the panels are linked to the grid, residents only pay for their net electricity consumption. A single-family home produces about 2800 kWh per year.
The monthly rental fee of the houses is increased by an average of â‚¬65 per month to pay for the building renovation activities. However, the occupants save as much as â‚¬100 per month on their total energy bill: â‚¬50 on natural gas and â‚¬50 on electricity. HEEMwonen, the housing association, will monitor developments to check whether its projections are correct. If it turns out that the fee paid by the occupants is higher than the value of the electricity produced, HEEMwonen will repay the occupants the difference. This guarantee provision helped persuade residents to participate in the project.
The housing association HEEMwonen and the municipality of Kerkrade have initiated the renovation plans for the district and were granted a subsidy by the Dutch energy agency. The plans were developed in close consultation with the residents. The involvement of a residents’ working group, the four model homes, a detailed information folder, several home visits per resident, the guarantee provision for the solar panels, and the ability to choose between various options helped ensure that all the residents wanted to participate in the project. The renovation method required a new kind of cooperation between architects, tenants, construction company, suppliers and engineers, meaning an open and transparent communication to achieve joint streamlined process in which everyone’s interests are taken into account.
This project shows that fast renovation of existing homes to high energy efficiency standards is possible and that there is potential for upscaling since the renovation method can be replicated elsewhere. Also, with the knowledge gained during the process, the costs of the renovation method can be decreased with 10-20% in follow-up projects.
Key success factors and lessons learned
- Fast renovation of existing homes to high energy efficiency standards is possible
- Resident participation is required to increase the rental fee and be able to acquire funding This approach involves close cooperation by all the parties concerned to ensure smooth operation.