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Round Table II: Deep Retrofitting the Dutch Market

28 September 2017

At the invitation of Climate-KIC and in cooperation with TNO, TU Delft and BIK bouw, 20 experts gathered for the Round Table on Deep Retrofitting in BlueCity* Rotterdam on 19 September.

The aim of this second conversation round – part of a series – is to generate solutions for the acceleration and upscaling of deep retrofit, inspired by true stories.

BIK bouw shapes advanced ideas

With its chain approach, BIK bouw** boosts energy-neutral and healthy renovations. By involving the knowledge of suppliers in the market during the purchasing process, BIK bouw shows clients the future and presents innovative solutions. For instance, the BTA initiative 2nd Skin is designed as a sustainable and innovative façade solution, including the installations and a monitoring system in the shell. One of the advantages is that during the renovation (and later on with the maintenance), craftsmen do not have to work inside the houses, which means that the residents hardly experience any inconvenience. 

Upscaling deep retrofitting

Despite the advantages of 2nd Skin, upscaling remains difficult. In the concept of 2nd Skin multiple parties work together. Housing cooperations are interested, but entering contracts with all these different parties discourage them. After all, who guarantees them good quality in the longer term? And what if none of these parties will take responsibility in case of problems? During the Round Table several solutions were discussed, such as 2nd Skin in the role of ‘integral service provider’ and as contact point for all parties involved. An overall guarantee system for a longer period on each component of 2nd Skin. And, include (SMART) maintenance in the contract.

Value creation and barriers

Kees van Deelen of TNO presented the conclusions of the ValueFit report. To realize further upscaling, it is better not to talk about deep retrofit, but to instead about value creation in quality of life, independency and savings. What also will influence the upscaling, is the right balance between seduction and regulations for house owners / housing cooperations. Another point discussed is that the current laws and regulations might have undesirable effects. Housing cooperations still have a lot of freedom of choice and they let their decisions purely depend on financial considerations. Subsidies, such as the Dutch STEP-provision, solely look at individual measurements and less on how the total approach is working. These activities do not stimulate upscaling of deep retrofit. 


Yvette Govaart of BlueCity, is the host of this Round Table and shares her experiences with the circular renovation of the former Tropicana building. First there were the materials, saved from demolition; then the blue prints. That was an exciting period, e.g. in case of getting the granting of permits by the municipality. They were not yet prepared for this circular way of working. But with trust, dialogue and a clear mission BlueCity came a long way. Although the renovation is still ongoing, it is already an inspiring playground for Circular Economy in the Netherlands.

The legal side of this story

What do all these stories tell about the current status of deep retrofit? Projects in which an integral approach has been used, are often facing problems with the legal reality. E.g questions pop up such as, how to deal with chain contracts, how to get permits etc.

Have you already bumped into these kind of challenges and found solutions? If so, please let us know! We’d love to have a conversation with you. In the next Round Table we’ll deepen the subject. 

* BlueCity was well known under the name ‘Tropicana’. In the ’80 it was one of the largest tropical swimming pools of the Netherlands.

** Since a couple of years BIK bouw is a Climate-KIC start-up


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