A consortium led by TU/e researchers Lisanne Havinga and Torsten Schröder, will research how to renovate buildings in a circular and emission-free way. The Dutch National Science Agenda (NWA) allocates 1.4 million euros for this purpose, with a duration of five years. The alliance spearhead Circular Society, took the initiative to develop a proposal for this call in which several research groups from TUe and UU now participate.

In order to make the transition to circular practices with lower emissions in the field of building renovation, Lisanna Havinga and her team will look at the entire chain, from the design phase of a building to its demolition, and back again to the design phase. “Getting the chain to work better together, with an eye for different perspectives, that’s our goal. Now cost and energy savings often come first, but we also need to look at other values, such as the environmental impact of materials and the impact on occupants.”

Lisanne Havinga

Havinga: “We want to create the right conditions when it comes to new measurement methods, renovation concepts, business models, forms of cooperation and legal frameworks. They are in fact different pieces of the puzzle that we need to connect better.” Digitalization will play a key role. Havinga: “Think about mapping and linking material flows and optimizing sustainable renovation concepts using simulation models.”

CO2 Neutral

This research is very relevant. The Netherlands wants the built environment to be CO2 neutral and circular by 2050. Havinga: “In fact, if we want to stick to the carbon budget of 1.5 degrees from the IPCC climate report, housing construction should actually be completely CO2 neutral in ten years already.”

Circular Inclusive Cities

The alliance’s spearhead Circular Society, with its Circular Inclusive Cities hub, focuses on shaping the conditions to accelerate the transition to circular and inclusive cities. It includes research on what physical, financial and socio-cultural environmental factors influence the extent to which citizens practice sustainable behaviours and work towards a more sustainable and inclusive urban environment. The transition to sustainable and green solutions should be made easier and more attractive to all citizens. In Circular Society, researchers in social sciences and humanities are collaborating with natural and technological sciences to come up with a fundamentally new way of research to tackle this challenge. Circular Society is led by Chris Backes (UU), Theo Salet (TU/e), Huub Rijnaarts (WUR) en Peter Blankestijn (UMC Utrecht).

Torsten Schröder

NWA programme

This NWA programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, research financier NWO and governing body SIA, and focuses on research on how buildings can be made circular and emission-free. This way, NWA aims to create breakthroughs that accelerate sustainable changes in the building sector.

The consortium led by TU/e consists of reserachers of Eindhoven University of Technology (Lisanne Havinga en Torsten Schröder), Utrecht University (Chris Backes, Elisa Achterberg, Blanca Corona Bellostas, Jesús Rosales Carreón), University of Twente, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and consortium partners Eigen Haard; Cityförster; Alba Concepts; BCI Gebouw; Madaster: Dusseldorp; Lagemaat BV; Sustainer; Cirkelstad; Dutch Green Building Council; NEN.