Categorie: housing stock

A CO2 budget (limit) for housing

Calculating in CO2 remains a challenge, especially when it comes to the remaining budget. There is in the Netherlands a small action group that is trying to define how we should deal with the remaining CO2 budget for the built environment. How much CO2 may be emitted (invested) per new…

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MNB1: 0-CO2 per 2030, MNB2: max 550 kg/m2

Last week, two interesting reports were published analysing how regulations can better support ‘sustainable’ material use. Very esteemed colleagues, united in a Dutch ‘Gideons tribe’ to make the buildings sector move faster, have been working on this. [1] I can agree in general with the contents and analyses ( to…

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The Bionological House

With vegetables, we’ve been doing it for years: most current vegetables never existed, in an autonomous evolutionary process. We as humans have slowly transformed them so that they grow the way we appreciate them, and want them on our plates. (Or the industry has adapted them the way we want…

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Carbon storage: the land-time relation 2/2

There are many ways you can start “accounting” for CO2 (as comments on the previous article also showed), but at the end of the day what matters are absolute CO2 emissions, from whatever activity. And cutting down a tree and using it as a column (or a table, or a…

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Dutch Future: Dryland and Boatland

It’s about time to face the hard truth here in the Netherlands: building below sea level isn’t handy, to say the least, to say modestly it’s destroying capital, and to say it hard: it’s endangering people. The soil is sinking, the sea level is rising, the rivers are overflowing, the…

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There is no ‘end of life’ of a building… 1/2

Life has an end, but is there also an ‘end of life’, for products and buildings? Which is frequently used in science, like in building evaluations calculating with a maximum life span, but seems weird. It is understandable in trade, for product developers, that want things to be replaced at…

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Corona, the built environment, & The Species vs the Individual

The Species vs the Individual, in the Built Environment? The Corona lockdown and approach continues to surprise: both in what the government does and how people deal with it. What is particularly striking in this phase of Corona is the response and attitude to some problems with vaccines. There are…

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How to distribute the remaining Carbon budget ?

A few years ago, together with colleagues Guillaume Habert from Switzerland and Thomas Lützkendorf from Germany, I started exploring the CO2 budget that was still available, and the consequences for construction. This budget of maximum remaining CO2 emissions to stay below the 1.5 or 2 degree threshold is limited. Science…

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Avoiding CO2 lock-down: learning from corona

(this text was send as an open letter to the installations industry , media and policymakers, on 26 March 2020) What is happening around the corona virus today, is understandable and needed, health is paramount. Let that be clear. But we experience with Corona, what we will also have to…

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Retrofitting houses: from object approach to a source approach 2/2

In the Netherlands most houses are heated by natural gas, but now we want to phase out that gas heating. Which of course is in principle easy: just close the tap, which is in the gas-fields in the North of the country. What would happen then, apart from a lot…

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