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Consequences of renovation strategies for the housing stock of housing associations towards energy neutral

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Housing associations are facing the task to renovate their housing stock in a sustainable way. Goals for achieving a certain energy performance of the housing stock are set with the Convenant Energiebesparing Huursector which is a part of the Energieakkoord. This process is going too slow, acceleration is needed. Barriers and potentials for this acceleration are found in different areas; the organization of housing associations, governmental regulations, technical barriers and the societal environment. This division in barriers, potentials and also in the right renovation strategy might lead to inefficiency and indistinctness towards housing associations.

Insight is needed in which renovations strategy is most suitable for the housing stock of a housing association looking at the long term. Literature research has been performed and experts have been interviewed in order to obtain a clear image of how the process is going and which factors are holding back and can improve the progress. Subsequently, three generic renovation strategies have been determined in order to provide insight in the effects of a chosen renovation strategy; regular maintenance, stepwise and at once. These strategies are with use of VABI software applied on a case study, a housing stock of a carefully selected housing association that represents a general Dutch housing association.

Conclusions are that with regular maintenance no energy neutral housing stock can be achieved. The stepwise and at once strategies both achieve an energy neutral housing stock, the latter is more expensive but achieves a higher score. This at once strategy requires high investments in the start phase but brings also immediately the advantage of lower energy costs. The stepwise strategy has two moments of investments what can give the advantage of implementing innovative and more efficient techniques. For the selected case study the stepwise strategy is most suitable, the at once strategy is not yet a good alternative because of the higher costs.

In general, the best approach might differ per housing association. Important is to determine a goal and a strategy on the long term. A short-sighted approach results in short-term decisions which can be obstructive on the long term, with the result that an energy neutral housing stock cannot be achieved.

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