EMPOWER 2.0

Thoughtful renovation? Vredesstraat 6 Menen project sets an example for the region

04 October 2021 - Published by Dominique Dhondt
Commissioned by the City of Menen, the Renovation Coach of Intercommunale Leiedal renovated a house of the Social House of the City of Menen into an energy-efficient emergency home. The corner house at Vredesstraat 6, in the Barakken district, was converted from energy label F to label A in six months and now achieves an E-level of 28, which is even better than the current standard for new-build homes in Belgium (E30). The home must become an example for the entire region of how best to approach a thorough energetic renovation, and must inspire people to renovate their homes in an energy-efficient manner. By 2050, all homes in South-West Flanders must have an E-level of maximum 60.

Thoughtful renovation with available budget

The aim of the City of Menen was to keep the energy bill of potential residents as low as possible. This has also been achieved by smartly investing in insulation and techniques, and by making careful use of the available budget under the guidance of the Leiedal Renovation Coach.

“As a local government, we are close to the people. We often try to sensitize our residents to make progress as a society in various areas. It is no different in the field of home renovation. There is no better raising awareness than setting a good example yourself. In this case with our emergency home in Vredesstraat, which we were able to tackle together with the Renovation Coach of Intermunicipal Leiedal and thanks to 70,000 euros of subsidies from the Flemish government,” says Alderman for Housing of the City of Menen Renaat Vandenbulcke.

A total budget of 140,000 including VAT was made available for the works. The final cost price for the total renovation is €113,505, if we deduct the premiums worth €19,609 to which private individuals are entitled for such renovation.

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Renovating always means making choices according to your budget. To maximize the energy gain in the pilot house, the RenovationCoach opted for floor and facade insulation, high-efficiency glass, the installation of a gas condensing boiler with heat pump boiler, a ventilation system and solar panels. The realized savings are considerable because the monthly energy bill of the house will amount to a maximum of € 60 according to the V-test. On top of that, a maintenance-friendly kitchen and bathroom were also installed and the interior was given a lick of paint.

“For me, in such (but also in private) projects, it is especially important to relieve my customers as much as possible,” says Renovation Coach Simon Gruwez, who coordinated the project. “By looking for reliable contractors, by drawing up a realistic but achievable schedule and following it closely, while maximizing energy gains at the same time. All things that can avoid a lot of unnecessary costs. In this context, the role of the RenovationCoach has certainly proved to be an added value in this project as well.”

Renovate now?

The rising prices for gas and electricity in combination with the rise in prices for building materials are no reason to put on the brakes when you are dealing with renovation plans.

“The payback times for energy-efficient interventions are becoming shorter due to rising prices and the less you consume, the less dependent you are ultimately on price fluctuations in the energy market,” says Wout Maddens, chairman of Intermunicipal Leiedal. But there are still reasons why you should not wait to renovate. “The renovation market has experienced a boom due to corona, which means that contractors' order books are full, resulting in long waiting times. That is why it is better to start now with the preparatory work, such as making plans and drawing up specifications. And then you've come to the right place with the Renovation Coach.”, says Maddens.

Open door

During the weekend of 2 and 3 October, local residents, interested parties and people with plans to energetically renovate their home can visit the fully renovated home for free and be guided by the Renovation Coach.

You will find out which techniques and materials the RenovationCoach used to make the house in Vredesstraat future-proof, but it is of course also the ideal opportunity to ask yourself questions about your renovation, what the order and cost of the works is, and to which premiums you are entitled. Our RenovationCoach will answer all your questions, give you a personal tour and give you tips. You can also test yourself which interventions your own home needs.

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A report with detailed information and tips is available for free on site during the open days