Democratising Large-Scale Retrofitting of Housing

Mieke Oostra

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


An enormous challenge has risen regarding our existing housing stock, as the result of ambitious agreements to reduce global carbon emissions. Until now the focus has been mostly on improving energy efficiency technically by ameliorating the energy performance of the building envelope. Insulation, controlled ventilation, new services and devices are deployed, saving and harvesting energy. New building components and production processes have been developed to smoothen obstacles in the role-out of large-scale implementation of these measures. Also effort has been put into non-technical solutions e.g. new financial arrangements, standards and business models. This has resulted in several successful pilots in the EU to retrofit dwellings towards net-zero energy levels. Still, large-scale implementation, especially targeted at owner-occupied dwellings is lagging behind. The hypothesis is that this is due to the fact that the challenge is still mainly addressed by following concepts that belong to the paradigm of the second industrial revolution. In this paradigm central coordination, proprietary development and vertical up-scaling are key and dwellers are neglected as an essential group of stakeholders in the transformation of their dwellings. This paper will reflect on the principles used in retrofitting using the successful Dutch programme of the Stroomversnelling as a case study. What are the consequences, especially for the position of dwellers, if we rethink the developments from concepts that belong to the paradigm of the third industrial revolution? In the reflection on necessary and possible future developments experiences and insights from Open Building will be used.
Original languageDutch
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2017
EventUIA 2017 Seoul World : Architects Congress - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 3 Sep 201710 Sep 2017


ConferenceUIA 2017 Seoul World
Abbreviated titleUIA 2017
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


  • housing
  • energy

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