Sustainable renovation and saving energy

Space for new build in the Netherlands is limited. Through the transformation of old buildings, housing estates, empty office blocks, school buildings and peculiar buildings new spatial possibilities can be developed. Below is a list of different building features that can be incorporated into a renovation project:

Sustainability large

- roof insulation 30cm
- double glass insulation HR++
- wall insulation 30cm
- floor insulation 30cm
- sun panels
- sun collector and sun boiler combination
- ground heat exchange
- draught proofing
- shower heat exchanger
- ventilation
- internal walls

Click here te enlarge

Roof insulation
With roof insulation an annual saving of € 435,- per year / 714m3 gas p/y can be made. You can insulate the attic floor, the inside of the roof or the outside of the roof. The insulating value, the U value (R-waarde), is dependent on the material and its thickness. Usually a minimum insulating value of R=2.5 m2 is used. In new buildings a value of R=4 m2 is used, therefore a 30cm thickness is a better investment.

Tips:

  1. Make sure that the insulation is tight-fitted and there are no air gaps.
  2. Be careful that the insulation does not become wet or damp.
  3. When insulation becomes damp it loses its inherent properties. Use a vapour barrier in damp areas including kitchen and bathroom. This barrier is placed on the warm living side. Try not to drill or make any holes through the barrier as this can cause wood root and mould.

Subsidy: www.senternovem.nl/maatwerkadvies/subsidie_aanvragen
Info: www.energieportal.nl/onderwerpen/vrom and the association of insulating businesses: www.venin.nl

Glazing insulation
Double glazing can save you up to € 185,- per year / 325m3 gas p/y. If the windows and frames are to be renewed then double glazing can be very profitable. There are generally enough subsidies available. The replacement can drastically reduce your energy costs. Glazing with Edel gases in the cavity can provide a better insulating value.

Tips:

  1. Place the glass the right way round, usually it says which side should be placed outside..
  2. Sometimes the glass can have a colour tint, Becareful to use the same glass throughout the building to prevent differing colours.
  3. 3. Use the ‘KOMO-keur’ glass certification.

Subsidy: www.senternovem.nl/maatwerkadvies/subsidieinformatie
Info: www.energieportal.nl/onderwerpen/vrom

Wall insulation
By insulating the walls you can make a saving of € 185,- per year / 325m3 gas p/y. Houses built before 1975 did not have wall insulation so insulation can be a good investment. You can insulate the outside, cavity or the inside. By insulating the outside you can recoup your costs in about ten years, it costs more but you save the most energy. Cavity insulation has a recoup time of about three years and saves less energy, while on the inside with a false wall, the recoup time is also three years but delivers even less energy savings.

Tips:

  1. Make sure that the insulation is tight-fitting and there are no air gaps.
  2. Take care not to get the insulating material wet and use vents to stop mice.
  3. When insulation becomes damp it loses its inherent properties. Use a vapour barrier in damp areas, including kitchen and bathroom. The barrier is placed on the warm living side. Try not to drill or make any holes through the barrier as this can cause wood root and mould.
  4. Be sure the house does not become completely closed off and that it can ventilate. Ensure that older walls can ‘breathe’.

Subsidy: www.senternovem.nl/maatwerkadvies/subsidieinformatie
Info: www.energieportal.nl/onderwerpen/vrom and the association of insulating businesses: www.venin.nl

Floor insulation
By insulating the floor you can make a saving of € 110,- per year / 190m3 gas p/y. This is often forgotten, but insulating the floor can be done in different ways and has a recoup time of about four years. The type of insulating material depends on the building and whether or no under floor heating is to be used.

Tips:

  1. Ventilate under the floor and use vents placed on the outside to stop mice.
  2. Don’t use a vapour barrier as this can cause the floor can become damp.
  3. Insulate the underside of the floor instead of the ground, this prevents many problems.
  4. A wooden floor can be easily insulated from above or below between the joists.
  5. Under a concrete floor insulating material can be sprayed in.
  6. On an existing floor insulating boards of 5-8cm can be placed. Make sure that the doors are changed and that a ventilation gap is also incorporated.

Subsidy: www.senternovem.nl/maatwerkadvies/subsidieinformatie
Info: www.energieportal.nl/onderwerpen/vrom and the association of insulating businesses: www.venin.nl

Sun collector and sun boiler combination
By using sun collectors you can make a saving of € 170,- per year / 325m3 gas p/y. There are different types of boilers but the sun boiler combination for a family of four to five is best suited. This combination adds another energy saving of 5% above the average sun boiler.

Tips:

  1. In most cases a building permit is not necessary. However for a monument or in a protected area it can be. Ask your local council if a permit is required.
  2. Be well informed and instructed by the service engineer.

Subsidy: www.senternovem.nl/groenbeleggen.nl
Info: www.hollandsolar.nl

Sun panels
With 4 sun panels you can make a saving of € 90,- per year / 375 kWh p/y. The principal is simple: sunlight makes between two layers of silicium a battery by which the generated electricity you can use. The initial costs and recoup time with a few panels is getting better all the time.

Tips:

  1. There are good do-it-yourself packets and these do have less power. If you want to get more, you can put a separate fuse in the fuse box, however you will need an electrician.
  2. Make sure they are clean, not placed in shadow and the transformer is near the panels.
  3. The panels and transformer need good ventilation around them, because they generate a lot of heat.
  4. Panels should be placed at an angle of 36 degrees and facing south.
  5. Be well informed and instructed by the service engineer.

Subsidy:www.zonnestroomproducenten.nl en www.energiesubsidiewijzer.nl
Info: www.hollandsolar.nl

Ground heat exchange
This system is a closed circuit of piping connected to a water pump. The earth’s heat warms the water to about 12°C. A water pump can heat the water further for spatial heating and underfloor heating. It is a big investment but is being widely used in the Netherlands. The piping can be laid vertically or horizontally, depending on the situation. Vertical piping can be laid to a depth of between 20-100m. The piping is filled with water which is eventually pumped around with anti-freeze (non-poisonous) such as glycolmengsel.

Tips

  1. The heat output is dependent on various factors, the level of ground water, the makeup of the ground, the garden area and the location.
  2. Get an initial rapport first with the amount of heat exchange required before you go ahead with a test drill

Subsidy: www.senternovem.nl/eia
Info: www.natuurinformatie.nl

Draught proofing
With draught proofing you can make a saving of € 46,- per year / 80m3 gas p/y. A house can easily be closed to stop unwanted draughts and does not have to cost so much by using rock wool, silicone kit, and foam. However this is often forgotten during a renovation: fuse-box, letterbox, access holes, piping, joints between roof panels, roof connection, window frames, etc.

Tips:

  1. The costs of draught proofing can be recuperated if you do it yourself.
  2. During renovation make sure that all connections, floor, walls, roof, etc are filled with mineral wool, because these are difficult to get to later.
  3. Generally these are areas forgotten by a contractor during a renovation

Shower heat exchange
With a shower WTW (water-terug-winning) you can make a saving of € 105,- per year / 150m3 gas p/y. During a bathroom renovation a simple exchanger can be incorporated, this makes use of waste hot water to pre-heat the water going to the boiler. There are two types: a vertical next to the waste pipe and a horizontal under a special shower basin.

Tips:

  1. The WTW should not be next to the warm water pipes as this can cause legionella bacteria if these pipes are not regularly used. If the WTW capacity is lower than 1 liter then the bath water can also be connected.
  2. A WTW has low maintenance and sometimes cleaning material has to be added.
  3. By insulating a plastic shower the water can stay warm longer.

Subsidy: www.energiesubsidiewijzer.nl

Air heat exchange
Air exchangers work in principal as a shower WTW, there are different kinds of ventilation systems for the removal and induction of fresh air. A complete system such as a balanced system HR-WTW is a radical step in a renovation for a house ad presents its own problems like background noise. With mechanical ventilation systems is air through the walls removed. Just by opening the window or the vent for half an hour can provide sufficient ventilation –and cheaper.

Tips:

  1. A well insulated house requires attention to the ventilation, make sure that enough vents are incorporated.
  2. If a balanced ventilation system HR-WTW is used then it can drastically save your energy costs.
  3. A big hindrance to the HR-WTW is the negative health problems. Filters have to be regularly changed and cleaned, otherwise problems such as , headaches and even asthma can start, therefore make sure that a maintenance contract is made.
Subsidy: www.energiesubsidiewijzer.nl

Internal Walls
Hollow concrete trade name Ytong is a passive insulating building block in one. The lightweight concrete block is filled with small closed air gaps which can retain heat. It is ideal for internal walls to absorb heat and then passively radiate the heat out later.

Info: Ytong

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