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Unique deep retrofit pilot in Vlaardingen

25 October 2017

Waterweg Wonen Housing Cooperation, BIK bouw, Climate-KIC BTA, Provincie Utrecht, TU Delft, TU Munchen, Sto Isoned, Itho Daalderop and Kingspan work together to realize a unique deep retrofit project in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands.

As a result of this pilot, 12 homes will be refurbished to become Zero Energy Buildings.

Energy-neutral and healthy renovations

After the renovation, the building complex generates the amount of renewable energy that is needed by the homes and its residents. Zero Energy is generally more common for new buildings, but this is one of the first deep retrofit projects to be carried out in the Netherlands. This offers an important contribution to achieving both climate objectives as well as to affordable and long-term housing solutions. The tenants – who have been involved from the very start of the pilot – are very enthusiastic and co-operative: “My housing expenses are decreasing, while in the mean time I’ll have a warmer, more comfortable home with a stable indoor climate”, says tenant Rianne Spoor.

What is the concept ‘Zero Energy Buildings’?

‘Zero Energy Buildings’ means that the housing complex generates the amount of renewable energy that is needed for both the homes and tenants. Sustainable installations and solar panels provide warm water, heating and electricity for all domestic use. Fossil fuels are banned, the gas connection will disappear and tenants cook with induction plates. 

Why this pilot?

The 12 houses in Vlaardingen were built in 1952 and no longer meet the current housing standards. Therefore these need to be renovated. This pilot aims to balance deep retrofit, indoor comfort and affordability for the tenants of Waterweg Wonen Housing Cooperation. Due to the efforts of Waterweg Wonen combined with European and Dutch subsidies, the financial feasibility of the pilot has been secured. All parties involved want to learn from this project and make interventions become financially achievable. Moreover, they aim to prove that this approach could change the rest of the stock into energy efficient and comfortable housing.

What is this project about?

BIK bouw has put a second skin – 2nd Skin® – around the 12 houses in Vlaardingen. This concept provides excellent insulation and sealing; the new frames contain three-layer insulation glass and the roof is covered with solar panels. But that is not everything. After the renovation, the building will be disconnected from the gas. Instead, an environmentally friendly multi-heat pumping system provides heating and hot water. These installations are located outside the houses, in a closet on a new, larger balcony.

 Housing expenses equal or lower

The beauty of this deep retrofit renovation is that the housing expenses for residents will not go up. Instead, with normal use these will remain the same. When a tenant consumes more or less energy, the living expenses may be slightly higher or lower. This depends on how the durable installations are used. To support the tenants, TU Delft and Waterweg Wonen will monitor the energy usage. If they use much more than before, the housing cooperation will have a talk with the tenant to look into the cause and give advice on how to control their energy consumption.

Collaboration Waterweg Wonen, BIK bouw, Climate-KIC and TU Delft

Housing Cooperation Waterweg Wonen has chosen 2nd Skin of BIK bouw for realization of the ‘Zero Energy Buildings’ renovation. 2nd Skin is an initiative of BIK bouw, Climate-KIC BTA, TU Delft, Provincie Utrecht, TU Munchen, Sto Isoned, Itho Daalderop and Kingspan. The concept is designed to provide existing housing with a new high-quality façade, sustainable installations, and with minimal disturbance for the tenants as the work is mostly done outside. Translating the residents’ questions into solutions is also a spearhead of 2nd Skin. Next to this project of 12 houses, Waterweg Wonen wants to renovate more housing stock through this deep retrofit concept. In cooperation with a special team, Waterweg Wonen is now planning to upscale this unique project.

Role Climate-KIC BTA

Climate-KIC BTA opened up its network and ‘de-risked’ the innovation. That speeded things up. But what really gave 2nd Skin wings was that Climate-KIC ‘pushed’ the start-up over its own borders of comfort which helped the team of 2nd Skin to find a way into the market.


Pre renovation     renovated




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