Upscaling Large Scale Deep Renovation in the Dutch Residential Sector: A Case Study

John van Oorschot, Erwin Hofman, Johannes I.M. Halman*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    158 Downloads (Pure)


    The 2014 carbon emission of the Dutch economy was estimated at 194.4 billion kg. Dutch households are responsible for a particular large part of the total emission, about 37.1 billion kg or 19% of the total emission in 2014. While society becomes aware of the negative side effects of carbon emission in terms of climate change, the government introduced environmental policies to diminish carbon emission by households in line with EU policies with respect to a 'near zero' build (nZEB) environment in 2050 (Directive 2010/31/EU). The government, together with the construction sector and social housing associations among others, attempt to face this challenge by developing and experimenting with innovative nZEB retrofit solutions in order to upgrade the outdated and energy consuming housing stock at large. Social housing associations are in this respect a particular important group of stakeholders while they own 30%, about 2,4 million, of the Dutch housing stock. A particular type of recently developed solutions in this respect can be characterized as modular, platform based retrofit concepts. These retrofit concepts are often referred to as transformation concepts while the overall performance with respect to energy consumption and indoor climate drastically improves while building aesthetics radically change. It has to be emphasized that governmental policies are considered to be the driving force behind the development and experimentation of transformation concepts by 1) stimulating housing associations to invest in a sustainable and affordable housing stock, and 2) pushing the construction sector to develop innovative transformation concepts. Moreover, the retrofit sector is still in its infancy and despite that these modular transformation concepts have been applied successfully in demonstration projects it is challenging to get them adopted beyond these single projects. This makes one wonder which mechanisms stimulate and hinder the adoption of innovative retrofit concepts. This paper contributes in three ways. First, this paper identifies which arguments suppliers tend to use to frame housing associations decision to adopt a particular transformation concept. Second, the mechanisms that affect adoption will be addressed, and in particular those mechanisms which hinder adoption. Finally, we present several suggestions to overcome the inertia which hinder adoption in order to increase the potential of transformation concepts taken into account the 2050 challenge of a near energy zero build environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)386-403
    Number of pages18
    JournalEnergy procedia
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • deep renovation
    • innovation adoption
    • nZEB retrofit schemes
    • residential building


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