Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Creativity essential for climate targets – 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.

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.

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.

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.”

Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>