Market potential

Article April 2020

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Cooperation with Itho Daalderop

Almost from the beginning of the project Itho Daalderop is actively involved with INDU-ZERO as a member of the Advisory Board. Christophe Debrabander, Manager Business Development at Itho Daalderop: "The project is very interesting for us because we have been working for years to make both existing and new homes more sustainable. We do this from a technical point of view. We are developing innovative products in the field of heat pumps, ventilation systems, hot water and heating. The aim is always a Zero-on-the-meter result for the residents."

Cost-effective renovations

The company has worked on projects that renovate existing homes in a sustainable way. But according to Debrabander, this is quite a difficult market: "It is hard to convince the market that a Zero-on-the-meter renovation is profitable. INDU-ZERO focuses on a different target group: housing associations that can actually buy the renovation packages in a large mass. Because the product is meant for several countries, it becomes an interesting business case. We can look very closely at the needs within the project and then develop new products for it. When the factories are actually built, 15,000 renovation packages per factory per year can be produced. So that is where we see market opportunities."

Innovative approach

The company's experience in sustainable applications for new construction can be applied in the renovation packages that are being developed for INDU-ZERO. Debrabander:"For example, modules and units with integrated ventilation and heat pumps that can be applied in a small collective network. The innovative component that INDU-ZERO adds to it is that the techniques are poured into prefabricated concepts, so that standardized renovation packages can roll off the production line. This also requires an innovative approach for our product development, which matches the ambitions of Itho Daalderop. Because we want to invest in future concepts!"

Contribution by: Christoph Debrabander, manager Business Development, Itho Daalderop, Belgium


Article February 2020

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Market potential of prefabricated renovation packages in Flanders

To successfully adopt prefabricated renovation packages of INDU-ZERO in Flanders, and by extension in Belgium, the market potential of the housing stock is being investigated. The Belgian housing stock is rather diverse compared to other countries in the North Sea Region such as The Netherlands where dwellings are typically much more alike. This may hamper the economic benefits of reproducibility regarding prefabrication. Yet, social housing is typically characterised by more identical dwellings and therefore the market potential for this housing stock is larger.

One of the main issues with the social housing stock in Belgium is shortage. The waiting lists are substantial and the pace of renovation and the building of new houses is too slow. The fully integrated renovation packages of INDU-ZERO allow inhabitants to stay in their house during renovation which makes relocation unnecessary. Moreover INDU-ZERO is aiming at a price reduction of 50% which makes it very interesting for social housing companies who are typically limited in possibilities.

On the other hand, many social housing companies  already invested in retrofit measures such as double glazing, roof insulation or the replacement of existing low-efficient heating systems to comply with the requirements imposed by the Flemish Energy Renovation Program 2020. These measures could hamper the installation of prefabricated renovation packages. They may nullify the investments made or may cause additional in situ works to connect the renovation packages with the existing building envelope (e.g. new windows).   

Keeping the pros and cons mentioned above in mind, the market potential of a social housing company in Ghent with almost 2.077 buildings (i.e. 10.000 units) was analysed. They were used as an example to determine the overall market potential in Flanders. To roughly estimate the potential, a feasibility analysis was executed considering the year of construction, the frequency of quasi-identical dwellings, the presence of energetic characteristics  (e.g. roof insulation), wall insulation and/or double glazing, and the complexity of the building geometry (e.g. the presence of balconies, overhangs). The analysis showed that 45% of the sample shows potential to be renovated through prefabrication, of which 53% are terraced dwellings, 32% are semi-detached dwellings and 16% are apartment buildings.

In a next step a more detailed analysis will be carried out for a selected number of case study buildings in Ghent.

Contribution: Yanaika Decorte and Marijke Steeman (Ghent University), Anne Goidts and Sarah Verbeeck (Kamp C), Belgium


Article June 2019

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Look beyond boundaries

Wim Sturris, general director of De Groot Vroomshoop (a royal VolkerWessels company) in the Netherlands, is one of the members of the Advisory Board of INDU-ZERO. De Groot Vroomshoop specializes in timber construction and has always been on the forefront of the developments of prefabricated packages. Sturris is convinced there is a big market potential for sustainable renovation packages: ‘However, it requires that we are willing to look beyond the current methods. Current renovation of existing housing stock is way too fragmented and financially not profitable for investors and housing corporations. We should look for innovative and large scale solutions, otherwise we won’t be able to make the big transition to a sustainable future. Real change requires new points of view and new horizons.’

According to Sturris INDU-ZERO can play an important role in providing these new perspectives: ‘The project focuses on industrialization which is the only way to realize a big scale renovation process. Also the project brings together the expertise from six European countries. So we are looking beyond boundaries, both literally and figuratively. It takes some guts to shout out to the world that it is possible to provide in renovation packages that cost no more than 40.000 euros a piece. By proving we can do this we will also find investors who are willing to participate. I believe that INDU-ZERO can be the motivator in this process and that in a couple of years we will be able to look back and see the major changes that the project initiated.’

Contribution: Wim Sturris, De Groot Vroomshoop, the Netherlands

Article March 2019

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Calculation based on stock of buildings

The European Union has adopted a low-carbon target that all buildings should achieve zero-energy by 2050. That will be just 30 years from now. The Netherlands, as an example, will need to renovate 300.000 residential units per year. It is currently renovating 3.000 units/year. So there is a lot of work to be done. 

3.000 Renovations, currently costing approximately € 80.000 or more each package, represents spending of € 240 M/year for the economy. An INDU-ZERO factory with the capacity to manufacture 15.000 renovation packages/year will help the Netherlands to reach their target, at a cost of € 40.000 per renovation package. Even at a lower cost, 300.000 renovations/year represents new spending for the Netherlands economy of € 12 billion/year - which could represent € 24 billion/year of additional activity for the economy, after multiplier effect.

Of course, the main benefits from INDU-ZERO will be the achievement of the climate and energy targets, together with more comfortable homes, elimination of fuel poverty, preservation of property values, etc. However, € 24 billion/year additional activity for the economy should also be very welcome in Netherlands. Each country should make a similar calculation based on their stock of buildings.

Contribution: Hugh Levins, Zero is More Ltd, United Kingdom