Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Importance Of Retrofitting Existing Housing To Make It More Environmentally Friendly

Date:
May 7, 2008
Source:
Delft University of Technology
Summary:
It is a great shame that the most creative professional group in the building trade, the architects, rarely apply themselves to existing housing, researchers assert. A large proportion of the Netherlands' climate targets will need to be achieved through modifications to existing housing.

It is a great shame that the most creative professional group in the building trade, the architects, rarely apply themselves to existing housing. A large proportion of the Netherlands' climate targets will after all have to be achieved within existing housing.

Related Articles


This is one of the messages to be conveyed by Prof. Anke van Hal of TU Delft in her inaugural address on Wednesday 7 May. "I see it as a personal challenge to tempt architects to take up this task."

Professor Anke van Hal's area of research is sustainable building. In this area she holds chairs at both Delft University of Technology and business university Nyenrode. At TU Delft she focuses on the sustainable transformation of existing housing and urban areas. In her inaugural address, Professor Anke van Hal of Sustainable Housing Transformation concludes that her specialist field is highly relevant to the Dutch government's ambitious targets. This is due to the large number of climate targets which will have to be achieved within existing housing. These houses account for 20 percent of our total CO2 emissions.

As the energy requirements applicable to housing before 1995 were limited, a large part of houses in the Netherlands have a low standard of quality when it comes to energy. Approximately 70 percent of houses is eligible for some form of insulation, mostly glass, roof, wall, and floor insulation.

Creative

In order to achieve the ambitious climate targets, a great deal more is needed than simply installing condensing boilers and insulation. Prof. Van Hal: "Innovation is sorely needed, both at product and process level. New products are required. Not just technology, such as new energy-saving heating systems or new insulation products, but also other products and services. Examples include savings products, mortgages and loans."

"Yet I am more focused on process innovation than product innovation in the context of my new position. Professionals need to break away from their familiar working methods. There needs to be cooperation with new parties and, most importantly, creativity is required. In this respect it is a shame that the most creative professional group within the building trade, architects, are seldom involved in existing housing. I see it as a personal challenge to tempt architects to take up this task."

Incidentally, existing housing is not just important from an environmental perspective. It is also essential to keep existing housing up-to-date and not to turn to demolition too hastily. After all, our housing stock only grows by 1 percent each year.

Enthusiasm

One crucial aspect for the success of sustainable housing projects is, according to Prof. van Hal, enthusiasm. "All the evaluations of successful sustainable housing projects show that at least one highly enthusiastic person was involved in the project, who often in the face of opposition continued to cling to the sustainable targets. The chance of success is also substantially improved if an influential party, such as a local councillor, is enthusiastic about the project and actively promotes it."

Tapping into existing enthusiasm is the key in the view of Prof. Van Hal. "Getting those involved to be enthusiastic should not be attempted by trying to inspire enthusiasm. It is much more effective to link existing enthusiasm to the sustainable objectives. In practice, this means that you should not attempt to convince people, do not 'preach', but you should listen very carefully and by putting the correct questions discover what really moves those involved. The next trick is to tap into this emotion using knowledge of sustainability.

"Working towards sustainability can be done in so many ways that there is always a way of helping to solve a problem or achieving an objective.

"Helping people is quite different from imposing something on people. Whether those involved are driven by idealism, or the desire to reinstate an image, to create a new market, to increase comfort or to save money; it doesn't really matter. If you succeed in tapping into what really moves people when working from a sustainability perspective, you will create a motivated atmosphere from which everyone will benefit."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Delft University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Delft University of Technology. "Importance Of Retrofitting Existing Housing To Make It More Environmentally Friendly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506100322.htm>.
Delft University of Technology. (2008, May 7). Importance Of Retrofitting Existing Housing To Make It More Environmentally Friendly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506100322.htm
Delft University of Technology. "Importance Of Retrofitting Existing Housing To Make It More Environmentally Friendly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506100322.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Sharks are hauled ashore every day at a busy market on the central Indonesian island of Lombok, the hub of a booming trade that provides a livelihood for local fishermen but is increasingly alarming environmentalists. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France's Sauternes Wine Threatened by New Train Line

France's Sauternes Wine Threatened by New Train Line

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) Winemakers in southwestern France's Bordeaux are concerned about a proposed high speed train line that could affect the microclimate required for the region's sweet wine. Duration: 01:06 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
2016 Olympic Waters Feature 'Super Bacteria' Researchers Say

2016 Olympic Waters Feature 'Super Bacteria' Researchers Say

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) Researchers found the bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase in the water where the 2016 Olympics is supposed to take place. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins