Success Story

2nd Skin: A systemic deep retrofit pilot in Vlaardingen

EIT Climate-KIC’ Building Technologies Accelerator (BTA), Waterweg Wonen Housing Cooperation, BIK bouw, 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 have been transformed into Zero Energy Buildings.

The problem

Like much of Europe’s older housing stock, 12 apartments in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands, no longer meet current housing standards. Built in 1952, the properties were due to be demolished to make way for new buildings – at great cost in terms of materials, energy and financial resources; and to the opposition of tenants, who were afraid of the disturbance of the socio-cultural structure and the increase of living costs.

The solution

2nd Skin is a lightweight façade that acts as a building’s second skin. With this low-carbon solution, existing buildings can be easily upgraded and meet eco-friendly building requirements, significantly reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The concept includes excellent insulation, an environmentally friendly multi-heat pump system, and solar panels (covering the roof) to provide warm water, heating, and electricity. The façade is installed at minimal disruption to the occupants, helps to create affordable housing, and strengthens local economic opportunities, opening up possibilities for local workers and companies to install the technology.

The impact

The homes in Vlaardingen have been transformed into ‘zero energy’, which means that the housing complex itself can generate the total amount of renewable energy that is needed for both the homes and tenants each year. 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. It opens the way for a large-scale renovation of the existing housing stock as 350.000 houses of this type exist in the Netherlands. 2nd SKIN® could be the solution to speed up the refurbishment transition.

The current energy need is assumed to be approximately 300 kWh/m2 per year, corresponding to label D. This gives savings of 8059 kgCO2 eq /yr per dwelling, offering both an important contribution to achieving climate objectives as well as affordable long-term housing solutions.

The tenants – who have been involved from the very start of the pilot – are very enthusiastic and co-operative.

The pilot has proven to be such a success that later in 2018 the refurbishment will start of another 180 apartments, installing a slimmed down version of the 2nd Skin concept.

““My housing expenses are decreasing, while in the mean time I’ll have a warmer, more comfortable home with a stable indoor climate””
tenant Rianne Spoor

EIT Climate-KIC’s role

EIT Climate-KIC’s contribution helped instil confidence and public credibility in the pilot and was proof that the work of 2nd Skin® is relevant and has a positive impact. EIT Climate-KIC has successfully brought the network together and has allowed for upscaling. BIK Bouw, one of the partners, has now become a member of Climate-KIC. Climate-KIC pushes scientists to work towards the market and develop business models. This makes scientific work adaptable and attractive for the market, making sure innovations ‘stick’.

To realize 2nd Skin, EIT Climate-KIC has developed a new financial model, making these type of innovations available to be applied on a large scale. Moroeover, 2nd Skin has been one of the first successful examples on how to make the best use of new construction policies in the Netherlands, allowing for new innovations to create a widespread impact.

More about EIT Climate-KIC

Find out more about how EIT Climate-KIC makes an impact and more initiatives under the Urban Transitions theme,creating the climate-resilient, zero-carbon towns and cities of the future.

An impression of the apartment complex in Vlaardingen before and after 2nd Skin

“Climate-KIC forms the bridge between academia and business and ‘pushed’ this start-up over its own borders of comfort, which helped the team of 2nd SKIN® find a way into the market.”
Sacha Silvester, 2nd SKIN® project lead at TU Delft

Published 20 May 2018

About BTA

Building Technologies Accelerator (BTA) is a programme by EIT Climate-KIC: the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy.