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 New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>